I have to get on with my life: Marni Kotak’s Found Performances from Birth to Present (2011)

In this solo exhibition at Alice Chilton Gallery, I presented the major events in my life from birth to present as an on-going series of performances set within the context of a bedroom in a working class, New England town. The exhibit was installed in the style of my parents’ New England beach house utilizing household items that were altered or imprinted with family photos. In a timeline along the walls hung photo plaques commemorating the ‘major performances’ conducted for each year of my life from 1974-2010. Also in the show was a 9ft. trophy dedicated to audience members for living their everyday lives, a memorial flag bestowed upon me by the US military for my service to my ex-husband, and a memorial black wreath for my grandmother that had just died the Saturday before the opening.

Questioning the line between art and everyday life, I fused family photos with pillows, tables, playing cards, jewelry, a potty training seat and other memorabilia to create a multigenerational space, in which I, my mother and my grandmother all occupied in various ways at different times throughout our lives. At the center of the room was the broken bed (that Jason and I broke during sex) given to me by my mother and originally belonging to my grandmother.

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