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Friday, November 25, 2011

MASKS:ESSAY ON MY IDENTITY

MASKS:
PART 1:INTRODUCTION
Thank you Neke Carson for hosting this event and thanks to Veronica Vera for asking Neke to host the event. In this season of gratitude I would like to thank my deceased friends who mentored, inspired and permissioned my being an artist.
1. My parents Mildred and Henry Montano,both artists who modeled that art was a good path.
2. My grandmother, Magdalena Becker Kelly,for her wild wisdom and singing sans false teeth on holidays
3. I thank Mitchell Payne, photograper and light giver.
4. I thank Barbara Lehmann, writer, performance art collaborator.
5. And I thank Dr Aruna Mehta, second mother, teacher and dispenser of blessings.
Although all of them have left this world, their invisible applause is always in my heart.
I invite you to bring to your memory someone who always supported your creativity, thank them and see them applaud and encourage you, even now.

And I thank you, my colleagues for choosing to hire a babysitter,buy a subway ticket, take a bus or taxi, thanks for eating a quick burritto, opting out of your Pilates class and coming here when you could be home wrapped in your leopard SNUGGIE,bathed in the comfort of reflected light: light from your flat screen TV,light from your laptop,light from your open refrigerator, watching re-runs of Wendy Williams, Dr Oz, Conan, Anthony Bourdain,Caesar Millan,Dr Drew's Celebrity Rehab, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Bootcamp, ...You could be watching Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell,you could be watching your avatar float in second life, ...You could be arguing with Whoppie and Joy on The View, crying with Wife Swap,watching Prince sing to Travis Smiley or travel to a near east hotel with Anderson Cooper...I feel bad because I do admit that being face to face is a big sacrifice especially without technological access to control, alt, delete, off, hide and remove buttons, our new friends. Thank you, thank you for giving ME face and endured time.But no, lets digress and clear the air.Why am I so insistent on this? Why do I feel guilt and shame again? You see, I have the patience for only one minute max of Anne Sexton/Peggy Lee and Thomas Merton youtube posts on facebook.But wait, I cant feel guilty because we will do a group ice breaker performance and that will be a blast, and I give you permission to use your Blackberries, you can text,surf your apps, answer your ringing cell phones, you can twitter,iphone,create a new 2nd life persona, network,do facebook, email, take bathroom breaks without asking permission, and after my one hour 4 minute video,(edited by the inimitable Tobe Carey) you can share in the group wig performance. A certain resume boost.

PART 2:THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE FILM MASKS;
Over the last 40 years I have periodically played with persona and gender as an art material, becoming imagined and real people. I call this work, Creative Schizophrenia, that is, I choose to leave my personality for aesthetic purposes and for medical research.Some have no chopice and that is called Life.
In the 70's in the middle of a life trauma I sat in front of a TV camera on a daily basis for a year and talked to it resulting in the film: LEARNING TO TALK(VDB).A medical note: I suggest that this would be a wonderfull cure for other selective mutes with PTSD.The seven women who came out of me at that time seemed competent, verbally secure, but culturally limited, vapid, complicit and secretly competitive.I was in my late 30's.I call them the MASK ON people,
IN the 90"s, as a reaction to menopause, a tenure dilemma and countless other personal tsunamis, I made the film, SEVEN STAGES OF INTOXICATION. The seven women I became acted as if they were marginalized terrorists, abused addicts, dangerous alcoholics and furious narcissists.But actually,I use the alcholic persona as a metaphor for the meditator in spiritual rapture,the meditator Divinely Intoxicated, in unspeakable ecstasy. See Teresa of Avila, St Francis of Assissi. I call them the MASK OFF people.
In the year 2003 I began to see myself as a puppett and I also wanted to become real and not imagined people.Real, like Hillary Clinton, Bob Dylan,,etc. One of the tragedies of this category is that when I asked another real person if I cold be/duplicate her she rejected my offer. Very dishartening and a reason to retreat to SECOND LIFE, I suppose.The real people I have become have real imperfections and private hells that are exposed by TMZ, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, Wolf Blitzer and Oprah. I call them the MASK ON AND OFF people.
2005 THE LAST MASK was put on, the death mask, the last straw. Not so bad when my teacher Dr.RS Mishra talked so easily about death, "You are already Dead." and "Die Daily" via meditation and I add, via our art . Why die daily? To quiet the other masks because he also said, "You have a daily choiceof heaven or hell..." and another great one..."We all have a MOTHER TERESA AND HITLER inside us...." And Lama Tarchin said 20 years ago to me In the Quashas' kitchen while looking at masks on the wall,"Take off your mask." Now I understand what he was saying and I call this fourth mask research performance, THE LAST MASK.

PART 3: WHY THE NUMBER 4?
For the sake of order and structure I am using the number 4 to talk about these 4 masks that we all share. Maybe these following lists can be templated over the concept of mask to see similarites, make associations, compare information. Please imagine a spread sheet and for each category mentioned, there is a correspondence between the mask and the "category".

1.Psychology says there are four levels of consciousness:
unconscious... located in the midbrain...MASK OFF
subconscious.....located in the diencephalon...MASK ON
conscious...all parts of the brain above the midbrain i.e. the diencephalon and cerebral cortex...MASK OFF AND ON
superconscious...all parts of the brain...NO MASK
now we must find a psychiatrist and neurosurgeon to explain this.

2.Hindus say there are definately 4 Chakras but more like 7(use the same MASK analogy as above)
Muladhara
Svadhistana
Manipura
Anahat
associated with the colors Red,Orange,Yellow,Green
Corresponding with
love and affection
security and safety
power and control
compassion
And the 4 chakras are locted in the first 4 glands:
ovaries/testes
pancreas
adrenals
thymus
But we must find a Brahmin to explain this meditation model.

3.Then there is the medical world which says we have four brain waves:
Beta: 3-35 oscillations, normal thinking
Alpha: 8-13 oscillations , rest
Theta: 4-8 oscillations ,children, adults, dreams, strong emotions
Delta: 3-5 oscillations, sleeping newborns
Where is the doctor?
4.And there is:
Hell
Purgatory
Limbo
Heaven...
BAPTISM
COMMUNION
CONFIRMATION
MARRIAGE
Where is the priest?
All I know is that on a minute to minute basis, I move in and out of gehanna then paradise, in and out of terror then spa , in and out of leaving then staying.....A mask dance without end.

PART 4A: MY INTENTION IN MAKING THIS FILM:
1.I love structure . Number and form are important focuses and a reliable foundation and grounding that give me pleasure even when there is no content. I could make a film about numbers, structure and concept alone and be very happy.
2.But also, the message of hope is important ...that is, that we all share this condition of going in and out of mental waves but that there is a way out. And so the film,MASKS, has an instructional value and my nun self likes that especially when I translate and see addictions as misguided ecstasy and really spirituality gone amuck.
3.The tape is a study in time because there is really boring footage from the 70s in this film. Then,time was long and cheap and it is so hard to endure it now . We get to see how our attention has changed in the last 30 years.More instruction.
4. My intention is always to point to death in my work, either formally MITCHELLS DEATH or as metaphor, LYING DEAD CHICKEN LIVE ANGEL, where I lay on a CHICKEN BED for 3 hours...resting? preparing? motionless? meditating?
5. My last intention is to look at secrets as art....my own secrets, secrets I've seen or heard about, political secrets, cosmic secrets...They have to get out and get unwound from our organs our brains our minds and once we Hiermonyous Bosch them out, we feel better,the viewer feels better,purified and cleansed. Art is so generous and we artists are chosen to do this job for all. Art lets us spew the dark out,laugh with and at it and Mother Art then transforms the puke so it is no longer small t-truth. Mother stirs and cooks it, feeding our hunger and turns our stuff into big T-Truth .Mounting this TRUTH, we ride BEAUTY GOLD into the sky.

PART 5 DISCLAIMER:
1. In the final wig performance after the video:please use no blood , no urine, no semen, no phlem,no fire, no knives, no sputum, no physical harm to self or others, no bombs, no guns ,no tazer guns.See my archive for how I incorporated a similar list of no's when I taught performance at UT Austin.Now raise your hand and sign an invisible release form that says you will not sue me, send a lawyer after me, hold me accountable on any level for anything you see, hear, do or wear tonight.(sign the air)
2.I ask your pardon and absolution for using accents so freely in my film. I grew up in a family where my Italian grandparents spoke very little english and what they did speak , they did so with a very thick accent which I found fascinating and I use the accent now with all due respect and with honor for all immigrants facing language issues and cultural isolation.
3.WARNING: There are references to alcoholism, profanity, urine therapy, abuse, medical interventions in this tape so:
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
4. I_________________________________________DO NOT HOLD LINDA MARY MONTANO ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY THING.DATE.___________________________________.

LINDA MARY MONTANO

NOVEMBER 21, 2009
FEAST DAY OF THE PRESENTATION OF MOTHER MARY IN THE TEMPLE
SAUGERTIES NEW YORK:TRANSFIGURATION HOUSE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OCCUPY/FREE ART BY LINDA MARY MONTANO

OCCUPY/FREE ART BY LINDA MARY MONTANO, 2011

IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE MULTIPLE OCCUPATIONS OF 2011,
I JOIN AND SYMPATHIZE WITH THEIR PLEA FOR A SPIRIT OF SHARING
BY FREELY POSTING MY FILMS ON YOU TUBE.

LINDA MARY MONTANO 2011



LINDA MARY MONTANO
THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE
9 JOHN ST
SAUGERTIES , N.Y. 12477
845-246-4482

PERFORMANCES
ART/LIFE COUNSELING
TEACHING
VIDEO
SUMMER SAINT CAMP
RESIDENCIES

www.vdb.org
WWW.LINDAMONTANO.COM
http://lindamarymontano.blogspot.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

STARVED SURVIVORS (ENTER)

STARVED SURVIVORS

Once upon a time, a very, very long time ago, in a very, very verdant green Italian village, there lived a girl child, an orphan girl child. All the other girls who lived there had long, thick, dark hair, olive skin, world-sharpened eyes and a freed up throat that could scream, yell, talk and cry. Orphan Girl, who was almost a mute, had blond hair, green eyes and as a cultural outsider, was shunned by her classmates who called her Orphan Girl. The name echoed in the mountains, "Orphan Girl, Orphan Girl, where are you?" She went into the forest, sat with the trees and flowers, drank cafe late from a thermos that she always carried and wrote nice words on the surface of a mountain stream, loving it when they instantly disappeared.

Of course, like in every fairytale, there is someone who represents wisdom and in this story, the deus-ex-machina is a wizened, wrinkled, long skirted, foul smelling, crabby, bent, rough talking but truth telling woman elder. Was she really a woman? It was hard to tell because her features had glued themselves together-----her nose to her chin, almost; her eyebrows to her cheeks, almost; her toenails grew into the bottoms of her crusty feet, almost. The gossipy villagers called her lots of names: witch, strega, bad news, nuscience, bother, charity case, pest, liability, and on and on...but for Orphan Girl she was a refuge and like-minded soulmate.

For the beauty of this story, let's give this elder an extraordinary gift and talent....it seemed simple and was nameless and it was that she could tell when the train which stopped in her village was 33 miles away and with her acute sensitivity she predicted the exact time the train would arrive at the station. Of course this savant knowing and sensing was so non-consequential that it impressed no-one but Orphan Girl. Who wants to listen for a train by putting your ear to the earth? Not a very practical skill!

Of course, she passed on this pedestrian knowledge to Orphan Girl but hidden beneath this simple circus-like-act was something more spectacular, something more usefull..a secret knowledge she handed onto Orphan Girl one rainy November day when the veil between life and death; the veil between truth and ignorance; the veil between suffering and happiness is very thin.

Here's how it happened: they were sitting in front of an open-pit fire, poking sticks at the embers, and the elder said: " Today is the day for me to tell you the complete story. Yes, I listen for when trains are near but also I know when they have wrecked. I know when trains have wrecked 700 miles away and Orphan Girl , it is important to know that life has many , many , many train wrecks because life is about change, vulnerability, flux, unpredictability, old age, sickness and death. You think you have it bad, being an orphan but I want to tell you the whole story about other weird and terrible things that have happened, might happen and could happen. Close your eyes and I will read you a story that I call: ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A TRAIN WRECK. Shhhhh. Let's listen."

__________________________________________________________________________________



ENTER

Admittedly we are all sensing a pre-renaissance black-out, a "dark age" with recognizable and historically accurate symptoms witnessed by historians of the fall (and/or transformation) of other dynasties teetering on the brink of armageddon.(The Roman ,Ottoman, German, British Empires perchance?)

BREAK

Can't we all agree that in this 21st century, we are communally experiencing a bad taste and aftermaths from universally experienced phenomena such as:


CIRCLE 475 PHENOMENON

Financial fumblings, cultural buffooneries, pervasive paranoia, modified mea culpas, bipartisan shenanigans, uncompassed morality, bipaped starvations, political circus acts, theological tsunamis, global tamperings, cyclical catastrophes, faux apologies, misleading marketing, conspicuous consuming, muddled multitasking, apocalyptic battering, padded documenting, salted wounding, power shifting, self loathing, hierarchical covering, pious grandstanding, spasmed tremoring, bankrupted dreaming, disintegrated remembering, virtual relating, techno crazing, outrageous compensating, congressional bullying and foreclosed trust!


CIRCLE 189 PHENOMENON

Diseased despondents, surrendered suicidals, unheld newborns, hooded jihadists, fundamental fanatics, antsy therapists, inattentive nannies, selfish narcissists, bonused buddies, media darlings, unconscienced thieves, suffocating egoists, discarded seniors, trafficked innocents, self inflicting terrorists, vulnerable victims, jolly junkies, over dutiful daughters, celebrity addicts, killer drones, spiritual materialists, scheming CEOs, interminable visitors, jealous sisters, stubborn students, lying boasters, ungrateful patients, cyber bullies, skeletoned anorexics, emotional mutes, nasty narcissists and miserable millionaires!


CIRCLE 362 PHENOMENON

Creepy oppressors, hypersexual prowlers, Holocaust deniers, death cheaters, begging borrowers, scud sharp shooters, carbon foot printers, attention mongers, greedy brokers, depressed designers, public apologizers, prepared preppers, subcutaneous cutters, sophomoric obsessors, inappropriate responders, furious professors, tormenting victimizers, parent starvers, neurotic neighbors, reputation slanderers, magnetic womanizers, surprise attackers, glad handers, halitosed dancers, grid locked commuters, grieving skaters, arrogant outsiders, soul sellers, gift refusers, aggressive reporters, sloppy visitors, pill stealers, animal abhorrers, hate disseminators, stinky passengers, authority balkers, sloppy foodmakers, name callers, energy suckers, germ spreaders, information secretors, junk hoarders, saccrine sympathizers, sweaty hand shakers, misguided worshippers, internet scammers, morphed murderers, obese outsiders, child abusers, frozen floormatters, dysfunctional reconfigurers, beauty kidnappers, unread biographers, gender assaulters, monumental mistakers, satanic afflicters, silent contemptors, counterindicated elders, hungry survivors, childhood stealers, guilted enjoyers, ponzi schemers, medical compromisers, careless caregivers, enraged partners, jailed minors, paralyzed players, unemployed loners, adulterous trespassers, vaccinated teenagers, double crossed informers, technological traumatizers, disabling humiliators, monetary misusers and nose pickers!




SHIFT

Oh, our poor bodies/minds are dodging the toxic arrows of it all! Dodging thoughts about pcb's and thoughts of no more potable water or no more fish or ice-sliding-glaciered polar bears! Thoughts about what to do about our arthritic thumbs twittered to spasm. Thoughts about ourselves and the suffering others! Not only thoughts but also memories of once looking in the mirror at our faces sweetly smiling back with innocent anticipation of a McDonalds. NO MORE. In preparation for a post-modern re-look at Revelationed-robotization, our current faces are facebooked/addicted into social shyness, not to be relieved by a 1970's Kumbayaah singing picnic on a green, chemical free lawn. That chapter is closed, my friend.
DELETE

Now, our poor bodies, steel-tight with earthquaked fear of the next day's news or trembling over the calories and sugar content of the morning's Starbucks or tripping out of buildings quickly when rumblings at yet another fault-line are recognized by sensitive dogs,....our battered bodies.... run on PTSD/empty seeking refuge in second-lifed, C-PAPED-accompanied nightmares.

HIDE

But wait, out of this harrowing scenario of a reality show gone bad, comes Hope?

SHIFT

PAUSE

______________________________________________________________________

The fairytale ends here and the old woman said, "That's it, Orphan Girl, you know the whole story. Now open your eyes and your voice and don't ever be surprised again when you encounter a life-wreck. They happen all the time and you are prepared, never to be surprised when strange things happen in your life." Orphan Girl was elated, glad she had been taught these important secrets and danced the OPEN HEART VOICE DANCE, around the fire.

That night, at 8pm, they both slept with their ears to the earth, in silent preparation for the next train to come.

The beginning of an end.




LINDA MARY MONTANO, 2010 Saugerties, NY

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MONEY IS GREEN TOO MANIFESTO
1. ALMOST ALL MONEY IS PAPER. THINK TWICE BEFORE CREATING A WAY TO SPEND MORE&MORE MONEY BECAUSE THEN YOU COMPROMISE A TREE.

2. SOME MONEY IS IN THE FORM OF PLASTIC CARDS. THINK TWICE BEFORE CREATING A PERSONAL NEED TO HAVE MORE TOXIC PLASTIC IN YOUR LIFE.

3. CREDIT CARDS ARE TO BE SEEN AS EQUIVALENCIES. THAT IS, IF WHAT IS VISUALIZED INSIDE THE CARD AS A REAL ASSET IS TRULY THERE, THEN USE THE CARD. IF WHAT IS VISUALIZED INSIDE THE CARD IS A PROBABILITY, THEN DON'T USE THE CARD.

4. MONETARILY DO UNTO OTHERS AS WAS DONE BY OUR GRANDFATHERS. THAT IS, OUR FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS SPENT ONLY WHAT THEY HAD. FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT, DON'T SPEND IT.

5. DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT DONE UNTO YOU. BEFORE YOU MAX OUT A CARD, THINK OF THE TRIED AND TRUE AMERICAN WORKING THREE JOBS TO PAY OFF YOUR MONETARY EXCESSES. SPEND THREE MINUTES A DAY BEING SOMEBODY ELSE. THAT IS, BE THIS PERSON WITH 3 JOBS IN YOUR IMAGINATION AND THEN DECIDE WHAT TO DO.

6. THE GOVERNMENT IS HYPNOTIZING US TO BE FINANCIALLY CARELESS, EXCESSIVE AND IRRESPONSIBLE. IT IS A PLOY AND WAY FOR THEM TO THEN DO A POLITICAL INTERVENTION AND PUNISHMENT THAT HAS CONSEQUENCES THAT ARE TO BE FEARED.

7. "I WILL MAX OUT MY CARD BECAUSE I'M TERMINALLY ILL" IS A MONEY SIN AKIN TO ANYTHING YOU MIGHT CONSIDER A SIN IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE. WHY? BECAUSE SOMEBODY'S HARD WORKING BROTHER WILL HAVE TO EVENTUALLY PAY FOR YOUR DEBTS.

7. BANKRUPTCY IS THE INQUISITION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS: THE "WORKER" TAKES UP THE SLACK OF THE "WANTER".

8. DO ONLY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD.

9. WANT ONLY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY AND HAVE BECOME AN ADDICTED WANTER, THEN ASK, WHY WANT?

10. TRANSLATED, THAT SAYS: ASK, WHY DO I WANT WHAT I HAVE BEEN HYPNOTIZED TO WANT?

11. STOP IMAGINING YOU HAVE MONEY WHEN YOU DON'T. IF YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY, GET A JOB AND LIVE IN A WAY THAT SUPPORTS YOU, NOT A WAY THAT SUPPORTS A HABIT THAT IS AN ELITIST AFFRONT TO YOUR SOUL.

12. MONEY IS ONE OF LIFE'S TABOOS LIKE SEX, DEATH. MONEY IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING DE-TABOOED, BUT IS NOW AT THE LAUGHINGSTOCK/FOOL STAGE OF DE-CONSTRUCTION. BY TAKING MONEY SERIOUSLY, IT WILL BE RE-INSTATED TO ITS PREVIOUS POSITION OF RESPECT/ KIND-CARE AND WILL HAVE SURVIVED THE TEST OF TABOO.

13. ASK: ARE LOVE AND MONEY OXYMORONONIC OR CONGRUENT? WHAT ABOUT COMMODIFIED/SATISFIED? SUSTAINABLE/WASTEFUL? BARTER/BUY? GENEROUS/HOARDING?

14. THERE ARE 867,000 WAYS OF INTERPRETING POVERTY/LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS. RESEARCH THE TOPIC.

15. THANK YOUR HIGHER POWER FOR THE INVISIBLE RICHES IN LIFE, NOT THE ONES THAT CAN BE BOUGHT.

LINDA MARY MONTANO, MAY 21, 2011

WRITINGS FROM FRED POOLES CLASS 2011

1.SECRET

Dear Brain,
You keep me in you.
His face red? I don't remember.
His clothes black? I don't remember.
He walked where he is supposed to walk,next to me on the side of traffic, holding my hand? I don't remember.
Believe it or not, it was this same street? I don't remember.
Was there a mailbox to our left? I don't remember.
Does he talk softly? I don't remember.
Did I believe him when he said,"If I was to kill a little girl, I would cut her up into little pieces and stuff her body into a mail box."
Was I shaking then? I don't remember.
I shake now.
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE
I REMEMBER,
Love, Linda

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



2. AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION


front steps dot dot dot BREAKING
cellar floor dot dot dot FLOODING
green lawn dot dot dot POISONING
house foundation dot dot dot LISTING
wall paper dot dot dot SCALDING
outside paint dot dot dot PEELING
their bedroom dot dot dot SMELLING
kitchen chairs dot dot dot SCREAMING
inside ghosts dot dot dot WALKING
me dot dot dot CRYING
GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!!!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

3. SOMETHING HAPPENED

4 2 weeks he watched.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
4 2 weeks he watched.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

WHITE OUT


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


4. NO TIME LEFT

HEY LADY!!!!!! hair's thinning

HEY LADY!!!!! watch out, you're tripping

HEY LADY!!!!! coffee's spilling

HEY LADY!!!!! don't kiss, breath's stinking

HEY LADY!!!!! check book's unbalancing

HEY LADY!!!!! bone's hurting

HEY LADY!!!!! skin's wrinkling

HEY LADY!!!! WAKE UP!!!!! YOU'RE DYING!!!!

HEY LADY, STOP LAUGHING, HA HA HA, YOU'RE DYING


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

5. WAITING

Have you ever met someone and mutually, immediately, exchanged bodies, minds, memories, eyes, liquids, and fires
with him?
Even though he was only 20 glowing planets away from my left shoulder, smells of his wife's extra strength TIDE
travelled nose to nose.
Have you ever tasted unguilted saliva suctioned into staglited hungry caves?
Have you ever forgotten how to wait and chosen instead to google then buy sandalwood oil imported from India?
WHAT'S THE COST?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

6. A REAL LIFE SONG

PRAY FOR MY CNA, O LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA
PRAY FOR MY CNA , OH LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA


SHE COMES TO THE HOME EVERYDAY
45 OF US TO LOVE
SHE BRINGS US LIGHT, WE NEVER PAY
SHES A GIFT FROM UP ABOVE

PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA
PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA

WE CALL AND SHOUT NURSE NURSE COME HERE
FOR EVERY BODILY NEED
I'VE GOT THE BEDPAN DEAR DON'T FEAR
AND THEN 45 MOUTH'S I'LL FEED

PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD OH LORD
PRAY FOR MY CNA
PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA

SOME SCREAM AND SHOUT EVERY NIGHT
IN SWEATY HALLUCINATIONS
MORALS, TEETH, AND HAIR ARE GONE
THE DARK STEALS TREPIDATION

PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD
PRAY FOR MY CNA
PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD,
PRAY FOR MY CNA

BODIES NOW BONES
PORES ARE STINKING
HOLOCAUSTED INTO SLIME
MY DEATH SKULL ROARS
THERE IS NO MORE
GOODBYE OH GHOST OF TIME!!!!!

PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD
PRAY FOR MY CNA
PRAY FOR MY CNA OH LORD, PRAY FOR MY CNA


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

7. ONE SENTENCE

She sweatily hands out copious copies
of zeroxed dribble,
sharing a passion for paper, not trees.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




8. REAL LIFE STORY


LETTER TO SENIOR EXERCISE TEACHER IN PHILDELPHIA

DEAR LEONORA,
Obviously your class is extremely well endowed by the US Government because they provide free PHYSICAL THERAPY membership to some elders so that we can move, stay well and don't financially burden medicare/medicaid or our supplementalS with payments for ills that come from non-preventive health maintenance. For some strange reason, my insurance companies don't play this free game with me and I pay 300$ a year at this RESOURCE CENTER.
Money aside and back to the class titled MOVE IT OR LOSE IT.....each exercise is designed and engineered to help old people maintain flexibility on and off ice, balance in the kitchen, arm strength to dress/undress/cook/shop and 5000 other skills that healthy 40 year olds take for granted.

You expertly transmit all of these pre-designed movements accurately and correctly but this is my concern which I have previously communicated to you at least 10 times! Yes it is about VOLUME! SOUND! LOUDNESS! MUSIC! TONE OF VOICE! I feel repetitively embarrassed to come over and over to the front of the class to say , "CAN YOU PLEASE LOWER THE VOLUME OF YOUR MUSIC?" And it is becoming clownish of me to keep gesturing from my "EXERCISE SAFELY CHAIR" while waiving my arms and signing, "TURN IT DOWN, TURN IT DOWN , TURN IT DOWN!!!!"
Leonora, I think you must be a written word learner and not an aural learner or listener. So, HERE IT IS!!!!!! IN WRITING..... PLEASE TURN DOWN NOT ONLY THE VOLUME OF YOUR MUSIC BUT THE VOLUME OF YOUR VOICE. I responsibly wear ear plugs to class but LET ME SHOUT...YOUR CLASS IS STILL TOO LOUD FOR ME!!!!CAN YOU TURN IT DOWN?

Your students are in their 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and have lived through life/deaths/accidents/betrayals/debilitating losses/dementia/alzheimers/sagging skin/depression/ disillusionment/diarrhea/constipation/falls/brain injuries and a gazillion other life wrongs. And there are lots of rights! We are social workers/doctors/mystics/lawyers/fathers/mothers/nurses/entrepreneurs/teachers/meditators/cooks/writers/black belts/functioning volunteers/artists/lovers and care giving friends.

So please use your inside voice with us and be assured that you don't have to infantilize us or cheerlead us back to life. We are alive. STILL. Softly teach this wonderful class and we promise to breathe very kind gratitude to you in return.

In my silent voice,
A participating elder


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WRITINGS, LINDA MARY MONTANO 2011

1. SELF PORTRAIT

1942: BENEDICTINE HOSPITAL, KINGSTON NY & SAUGERTIES NY.......................................JUST TIME


1959: NEW ROCHELLE, NY....................................................................................................JUST TIME

1960: OSSINING, NY..............................................................................................................JUST TIME

1962: TOPSFIELD MASS..........................................................................................................JUST TIME

1963-65: OSSINING NY............................................................................................................JUST TIME

1966: FLORENCE ITALY............................................................................................................JUST TIME

1966-69: MADISON WISCONSIN..................................................................................................JUST TIME

1969-70: ROCHESTER NY..............................................................................................................JUST TIME

1971-81: CALIFORNIA....................................................................................................................JUST TIME

1981-91: NY STATE.........................................................................................................................JUST TIME

1991-98: TEXAS...............................................................................................................................JUST TIME

1998-PRESENT: ULSTER COUNTY.......................................................................................................JUST TIME

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************

2. I REMEMBER


" The ability to hold onto a piece of information in order to complete a task is specifically human. It causes certain regions of the brain to become
very active in particular, the frontal lobe,....which is highly developed in humans and is the reason we have such high, upright foreheads. Human
memory is acomplex phenomenom and involves other regions of the brain as well. Information is transferred from short term memory to long
term memory through the hippocampus,so named because it's shape resembles the curved tail of a seahorse(hippocampus in Greek.) The
hippocampus is a very old part of the cortex evolutionally and is located in the inner fold of the temporal lobe. Information is decoded in the
various sensory areas of the cortex then converges in the hippocampus which then sends them back from where they come from. We past
memories through the hippocampus several times....strengthen the associations , and then the cortex will have learned to reconstruct what we
call a memory."
Once she heard a story about a 12 year old girl who, while drawing a picture of an old Asian man from a book, remembered knowing him.
From where? A dream? Someplace else? Some other life? (Not a very Catholic explanation.)
Then 20 years later, she literally and truly met him, the same Asian man. Almost fainting, this real-time recognition was beyond the cortex.

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

3.BABY

A dream, flashback, past life? She walks east. A busy small village. Where? A tiny, adorable, cute, sweet, endearing 4 year old boy runs to her.
Brown skin. Another culture. A foreign country. Unaware of cars. Focused. One pointed. Wants to run to her. Why? Can hearts evolve from stone
to flesh in 3 seconds?Anatomically impossible but hers did. Adrenals propelled, eyes binoculared out of her head,silently shouting or maybe audibly,
"Baby, baby. Stop! Cars Cars Cars! Watch out." Fishing for languages she improvisatorily creates, she shouts, "Arete! Aiuto! Attende!" Nothing works.
Winded but frozen in place, her body morphs into Mother Love. My dream baby's 8 year old brother or cousin follows but the babitos pace is beyond
time and cosmically set, not to be matched.
Willing cars,trucks, vans,motorcycles, bikes and ambulances to be banned from the premises by some unseen force, he powers through the parted
sea of cars as potential killers into her arms. She kneels, absolves him, holds him at least in her mind, shakes him and tries 400 new languages to
teach Mother Law 101 to curb his instinct to innocence. "Dangeroso, dangeroso she moans. Dont you ever, ever, ever run away like that again.
Do you hear me?" By then younger brother and company are there translating my dnagerosos to periculosos, periculosos or maybe it is the other
way around. "Where's your real mother", I ask and the real is in silence. More commotion and a crazed with worry 16 year old babysitting aunt and
her friend breathlessly chant the same message, "Periculoso, periculoso, muy muy periculoso", and then THE MIRACLE! Time stopsand without
looking even to the sky to confirm his message, beauty babito baby point to his left and sings, "RAINBOW, RAINBOW!!",diverting his captive loves
from yet another almost 911 real time tear in the middle of the sorrow chest. Certainly diverting me from the coudha, wouldha, shouldhas mind to
instant rapture, and a harboring of new beginnings. As angel son and company concur and stop rescuing....rainbow, rainbow, they head west, I
north, but ever the magician he looks back at me with yet another translated by his cousin prophecy/warning,"Are you going home?"

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

4.MORNING

She knows how to give good gifts. Quality was always a 10, durability factored in, even if it was mail ordered. Nothing cheap, including the
clock they gave me maybe 10, maybe 15 years ago.... a travel alarm, because I was always on the road. Thoughtful gifts. An emergency kit
for my car one year when it seemed I was living in it. And then they ran out of ideas, energy, unable to remember who I am or what I do
so this past Christmas I aksed for something recycled, in fact she had mentioned she had a cassette recorder and I said, "That would be great,
i'd love that." But when they cleaned the cellar and found it, mold, mildew, dust and a barry Manilow tape or something else equally dispicable,
clogged it forever. So via ebay, or cragslist or Wikipedia, or QVC, via Taiwan, Istanbul, or maybe Beijing she found a duplicate Sony knock off
version which I actually use as a defense against the ipad/blackberry/blueberry/iphone/kindle/digital camera and robot caregiver.
This morning, I responded to the sound of the 15 year old gift that has never had a battery change but now flutters for 30 seconds before it
offers a polite European-like wake up call to this traveller who now prefers journeying in the silence of the dark night.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************



5.THE 39 INCH RULER

Thirty-six inbches long/yellow-golden/aged/smeared with wear/readable numbers:
1.blackout
2.remember
3.remember
4.blackout
5.blackout
6.remember
7.blackout
8.blackout
9.remember
10.remember
11.remember
12.blackout
13.remember
14.blackout
15.blackout
16.remember
17.remember
18.blackout
19.remember
20.blackout
21.remember
22.blackout
23.remember
24.remember
25.remember
26.remember
27.blackout
28.blackout
29.remember
30.remember
31.remember
32.remember
33.remember
34.remember
35.blackout
Then it says 3, not 36. Where's the 6? But there are lines and words: Amos Post INC.,Petroleum Products, Catskill 278. Smell? Taste? No, but it elicits
immediate and constant flashbacks: Dad, where are you? Tell Grandpa I'm really, really, really ,really sad and sorry I didn't say a proper goodbye and
apologize. He knows what I am saying. But maybe he's sad too? The story is that when Grandma woke up from being sick with the 1918 Spanish Flu,
he had to tell her it killed their 3 year old only daughter and sister of 5 brothers. Did he hand Grandma a rumored photo of her in a child's coffin?
Aunt Uula, after that your mom sat mute for hours by the Partition street window day after day after day after day after year, teaching me how to
measure time.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************

6.JUSTICE


It was a total betrayal. Senoir citizenzry and all of that kevetching had set in. Activism and volunteering for political causes which demanded
outrage/inrage/anger/ability to harass and blow off group steam had served her well as an organizer for umpteen issues truly unfair; from
female circumcision to migrant equal wages; from Kendra's law to fracking...she was a card carrying angeraholic/suffragetted hope-ette on
wheels, barking for change.
There isn't one deciding moment or reason why it all changed, why the anger turned petty, went internal and tasted bitterly explosive. Illness?
Death of friends? Early dementia? Whatever it was, the focus shifted to one,singly solitary, oxymnoronic task: to stamp out public, uncleaned-up
dog do. Like a mad anchoress released from a medieval cartoon, her morning walks became exercises of such intense detecting that she actually
became proud of her ability to sleuth out the size, shape, odor, placement and sex of the offending canine's refuse, soon to be earth mulch or
creamed "awfull" on a walker's shoe.
Didn't CNN report that there are some equally irate seniors with nothing to do and nowhere to place their fear of dying who live in Long Island
and take DBM (dog bowel movement) samples (uck!!!) from their shared Long Island co-op lawn, and then send the doo to a lab for DNA matching
up to the 4 legged offenders who live in their neighborhood. Now this is creative justice at it's best or a retired lawyers prank. What mentors and
new examples of patrolling with attitude they were!
But I had an idea to offer them: Why not monogram used Wall Mart plastic bags to hand out to early morning dog walking offenders, especially that
one at 6:30 with not one but 2 life sized megaton monster canines, verging on the obese. Do you have an idea for the moniker? Hmmmm,how about:

MY DOGS PACKED UP SHIT OR

DOGGY DO IN HERE OR

NOT MY SHIT, MY DOG'S OR

DON'T WORRY DOGS, HOPEFULLY I'M GOING HOME TO DO THIS TOO

With liberty and justice for all, a concerned citizen.


************************************************************************************************************************************


7 . DREAM OF A NEW SCULPTURE FOR STORM KING OR WHEREVER : THE VISITATION


On 50 acres?
10 rocks
Each 7 foot circumference
Pink or grey
One a crystal rose
A metal plaque
Etched Mary holds Elizabeth
Easier as art.


*************************************************************************************************************************************

8. MOM, FIVE OF HER GRANDKIDS AND MITCHELL : A PHOTO


What's the title? "Unless the seed falls on good ground"...or something like that? Or is it the picture with 5 people wearing stripes, two not? Mom
stands, in lined pants stretched over an extended abdomen, legs suggesting A GRANDMOTHER QUEEN BIRTHING. She's my age now, or I'm her
age then and with a duplicate haircut, or wig, and if I were wearing those incredible pants, it would be me! And like her, I would be there , before
it happened, reveling innocence and forgetting like she always did, anything but beauty.
BIG BELLY MA, WITH THE KIDS IN STRIPES, that's the title. Most of them are happy to be there, a few pouters, all oblivious to the crouching , not
seen but actually center stage panting dog, symbolically previewing and harboriging the syncronisity of medical tortures to that BIG BELLY MA,
burned radiationally to death.
In the far right corner, a photographer taking a picture of the picure that is already taken. Double life , but he holds his camera to the same cheek
where the bullet entered and spattered now defunct grey matter all over his mother's kitchen.
Hey, new title: THIS PHOTO BY BIG BELLY ME: YOU'D BETTER GO GET A COLONOSCOPY!



***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

9. A CONVERSATION ...FROM A PHOTO OF A GENERIC WHITE HORSE FOUND IN THE PAPER

I'm so large, so white, so magatonish! When just a stumbling gelding, Samantha dyed my mane pink and I tried out for a MY LITTLE PONY TV
commercial and a few years later, I wore feather angel wings for a walk-on in a play titled: Icarus. I was always a star. But that's the past. The
reason I'm even happier now is because I'm much too old for my current job in this charming village's equestrian competition. Samantha's family
used to bring me to jumping events every summer but I have to tell you what really happened and why I feel so liberated. Of course I will miss
the food, the apple snacks, the ohhs and ahhhs from the adoring girls and endless attention. How can I forget Miguel who hosed me down and
massaged me so lovingly every 4 hours when he wasn't running back to his hellishly hot trailer to check on his very situationally diabetic pregnant
wife and their other 4 vacantly unstimulated kids, hungry for lunch.
Even with all of the perks, the gig was horrible. How would you like it standing in a suffocatingly hot 4 horse capacity van driven by a taxied out
mother and a newbie teen who preferrred texting to talking. I never understood why Samantha's mom always seemd very peaced out on the trip
back after spending time with Uncle Bob at the local library or at least that's where she said they went, but they were so ozzingly gooey and happy
that it made me sick with suspicion. But the good news is that her mom was in a much better frame of mind (or was it body) and so she didnt mind
the 12 hour drive, round-trip! But me, oye vey! For hours I stood, in my own sweat, stink and shit, ankle-high-wet with pee , then robotically jumped
over pieces of wood, and endured the vibrationally lame stares of the entitled viewers who were eternally bored by excess, bored by too much food,
bored by too many stock dividends, bored by too many so called non-friends, bored by too much meaningless chatter about the Kardashians. By
association, I became as joyless, shocked into numbness and hopeless as all of them so one day I intentionally decided to become fat, sloppy, too
lame, too unfocused, and I tripped on purpose. Samantha cried for a week then her dad bought a new version of me to dry her tears.
Now, I truly fly in my dreams and gallop unhindered by phantom pain only when Samantha's not around.

*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

10. WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK: FROM MY JOURNAL

FOUR BILLION

DIAMOND-EDGED BLADES

SEVER EARTH ARTERIES

SO

BLOOD OF LIGHT

CAN BURN.


*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

11. LOST


Dear friend,
For 27 years I have shared Nagasaki Day with you internally because at 9 years old, you lived about one and a half hours from there so for years I imagined
that you survived the violence and sin of war that occured in those two cities: HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI. That was that, a quick and easy dismissal with horrible
images but my source of much information, the internet taught me otherwise, that is , I learned that Japan was incendenary bombed by B29's for about 6
months before the atom bombs leveled and decimated your country. But fire came first then nuclear devestation followed.

FORGIVE US: A LIST OF ONLY SOME OF THE FIRE RAIDS

TOKYO:
83,793 DIED( FIRST RAID)
40,918 WOUNDED
167,171 BUILDINGS DESTROYED

PLEASE FORGIVE THIS LOSS

NAGOYA:
3,609 TONS OF BOMBS
2 SQUARE MILES OF CITY DESTROYED
18 INDUSTRIAL SITES DESTROYED

PLEASE FORGIVE THIS LOSS

OSAKA:
8.1 SQUARE MILES DESTROYED
4000 PEOPLE DIED
678 MISSING
8463 INJURED
134,774 HOUSES DESTROYED

PLEASE FORGIVE US

NAGOYA:

PLEASE FORGIVE US

KAWASAKI:

PLEASE FORGIVE US

YOKOHAMA:
1.5 MILES DESTROYED
113,460 BUILDINGS DESTROYED

PLEASE FORGIVE US

OSAKA:
3.5 MILES DESTROYED

PLEASE FORGIVE US

KOBE:
4.35 SQUARE MILES DESTROYED
51,399 KILLED

PLEASE FORGIVE US

SASEBO:

PLEASE FORGIVE US

PLEASE FORGIVE US

FORGIVE US

FORGIVE

***********************************************************************************************************************************************************

12. CINDERELLA RESEEN

Once upon a time in a very verdant village in India, there lived a Brahmin princess, silver earringed at birth. She hardly had to chew as she grew since her
attendants, there were 8, did almost THAT for her, finger feeding her chapitis, dal, rice, keer, chai, and rice pudding. And she played back the attention
given her by fluttering her dark kohl lashed love eyes. Easy to adore, especially in a culture seeped in that virtue, she lived in mutually aroused ecstasy,
aided by loving touch by the massage walla who daily rubbed warmed coconut oil on her smooth as silk skin while and actually during the respective and
spiritually motivated touching of her lotus-feet in gestures of respect by friends, family and her growing numbers of students. At her birth, the village's
Guru had announced that neumerologically and astrologically, she really was a re-born saint/holy woman/Guru herself....a legacy holder of a tradition
forgotten generations ago.
Songs spontaneously came to her, lyrics hiding the secrets but in a new innocence she shared what she received from deep inside her primitive visioning
in a spirit of light-hearted joy. A true pioneer, breaking out of stody illusions, Padmavati suggested reform, suggested a pioneering reversal, suggested
change, an idea anethma to her class but there it was, right out on the table for all to see....let's not play around any more with this priestly class vs
the merchant class vs the agricultrual class vs the untouchables ! The gig is up and she sang over and over her message, practiced it, married a dalit
and taught her own family how to feed their attendants chapatis from their own hands. Love was the new name of the game.



*************************************************************************************************************************************************
13. A LOOK AT THE WORD KINDNESS: ONE WEEK OF UNKIND & KIND EVENTS: IN AUGUST 2011

GANDHI SAID:WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGH HISTORY, THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

1. K.....A Kitchen called LOVE KITCHEN , run by 2 sisters Ellen and Ashe, has given over a million free meals since 1986. They minister to what
they call the 5 H'S: HUNGRY, HOMELESS,HELPLESS,HOPELESS AND HOMEBOUND. They prepare and distribute 2000 meals a week.

GANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGH HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

2. I....Investors reveal that one of the causes of the stock market collapse happened because the brokers sold investor bonds assuming
them to be safe only to discover they were worth less than the stocks.

GANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGH HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

3. N....Names of the 30 US soldiers kileed in the helicopter downed by the Taliban, will soon be released lifting the public shroud of secrecy
that sourrounds navy seal operations.

GHANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGH HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

4.D...Discontent has been simmering among Britons urban poor for years and few have paid attention to the socila issues underlying the
anger in London.

GHANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGH HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

5. N...Nairobi reports a cholera epidemic sweeping across Somalia as thousands of starving people flee famine zones and pack into
crowded camps in Mogadishu.

GHANDHI SAID: WEHN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

6. E...Exercise, botox injections, denervation surgery, deep brain stimulation surgery, physical therapy, visualization, using a soft collar,
and elimination of all personal and siocial stress are some of the treatments used to deal with cervical dystonia/spasmodic torticollis.

GHANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

7. S...Sharon stopped eating,began to exercise obsessively and after family nmeals, she would go up to her room to do crunches and jumping
jacks for 2 hours straight. She couldnt watch TV without doing pushups or running on the treadmill.

GHANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

8. S..Spokesmen from the Maryknoll Fathers are determining if they will dismiss Father Roy Beaugeois who is campaigning to open the
Catholic priesthood to women. Father Roy indicates that he is following his conscience and that the prohibition on women ordination was
not an infallible church teaching despite vatican declarations to the contrary.

GHANDHI SAID: WHEN I DESPAIR, I REMEMBER THAT ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND LOVE HAVE ALWAYS WON.

KINDNESS............ K I N D N E S S

Monday, October 24, 2011

MOTHER LOVE: AN INTERACTIVE JOURNEY TO OUR BIRTH MOTHERS, LINDA MARY MONTANOAN INTERACTIVE LETTER/SONG FOR OUR MOTHERS

MONTANO WILL SING ABOUT HER MOTHER'S LAST DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL .

VIDEO IMAGES WILL APPEAR PROJECTED.

VIEWERS WILL WRITE LETTERS TO THEIR MOTHERS DURING THE EXPERIENCE.

AFTER THE STORY AND SONG, MONTANO WILL CHANGE HER CLOTHES AND THEN, DRESSED LIKE MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, ALL WILL PROCESS OUTSIDE AND BURN THE LETTERS TO THEIR MOTHERS.

APPROXIMATE TIME: ONE HOUR

Friday, October 21, 2011

ART...THE BRAIN.......RITUAL....LINDA MARY MONTANO 2011

DEAR ESTEEMED ARTISTS AND LIFEISTS:

I WISH TO TALK WITH YOU ABOUT THE BRAIN BECAUSE I SEE MY OWN ART AS MEDICINE AND MY DRUGS OF CHOICE ARE PERFORMANCE/VIDEO/BOOKS/ENDURANCE/PERSONAS/AND ACCENTS...WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO MY ITALIAN GRANDPARENTS WHO TALKED WITH AN ACCENT...THESE DRUGS MOVE ME OUT OF LEFT BRAIN FEARS,GUILTS,JUDGMENTS AND ATTACHMENT TO SUFFERING AND ALLOW ME RIGHT BRAIN ART PLAYTIME.

MY INTEREST IN THE BRAIN IS MEDICALLY PERSONAL AND I HAVE ALSO RESEARCHED JILL TAYLOR, BRAHMANANDA SARASWATI AND BEDE GRIFFITH...ALL OF WHOM HAD LEFT BRAIN STROKES AND A RESULTING ARTIST-LIKE EUPHORIA.

ADMITTEDLY WE LIFEISTS/ARTISTS DONT HAVE TO HAVE A STROKE TO BECOME MORE CREATIVE OR BETTER LOVERS OF BEAUTY. WE MAKE ART WHICH IS A BRAIN GAME AND THAT'S ENOUGH. BUT WE DO NEUROBIOLOGICALLY SHARE OUR JOURNEY WITH OUR MEDICALLY COMPROMISED FRIENDS LISTED ABOVE.


TO ILLUSTRATE; I WILL FURTHER DISCUSS ART AND ANXIETY/THE BRAIN/RITUAL/THE GLANDS.

I'M SURE THAT THERE ARE A FEW UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE PATTERNS STRUCTURING AND FOUNDATIONING THE ART MAKING PROCESS WHICH WE ALL SHARE.


PATTERN 1: ART AND ANXIETY

WHAT BETTER TIME TO BE AN ARTIST/LIFEIST? ADMITTEDLY WE ARE VOCATIONALLY CALLED TO WONDER ABOUT, BE HAUNTED BY AND SENSITIZED TO VACATED NOTHINGNESS AND CURRENTLY OUR JOB IS EXACERBATED BY HAIR RAISING STORMS, WINDS, WATERS, LIGHTENING, FIRES, EARTHQUAKES, FAMINES AND TOTAL PLANETARY COLLAPSE. AUTHOR THOMAS BERRY STATES THAT ANXIETIES ABOUND AND MANIFEST THIS COLLAPSE IN THREE WAYS : BODY/MIND/SOUL

1. WE ARTISTS ARE SENSITIZED TO AND FEAR PHYSICAL COLLAPSE, DEATH AND THE PARALYZING NIGHMARE THAT WE WILL CEASE TO BE, CEASE TO HAVE A BODY, SHELTER, SUSTENANCE.

2. WE ARE SENSITIZED TO MORAL COLLAPSE AND BECAUSE WE ARE OVERWHELMED WITH DECISION FATIGUE GIVEN THE PLETHORA OF FREE FLOATING WEB INFORMATION, WE FEAR WE WILL NEVER KNOW REAL TRUTH.

3. WE ARE SENSITIZED TO AND HAUNTED BY THE ANXIETY OF SPIRITUAL COLLAPSE AND FEAR THAT LIFE IS KARDASHIANLY MEANINGLESS, HOPELESS, HELPLESS, FOOLISH AND WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE.

THESE 3 ANXIETIES OF BODY,MIND AND SPIRIT ARE OUR ART MATERIAL, WORDS FOR OUR PRAYER, OUR CLAY, OUR PAINT.....


PATTERN 2: ART AND RITUAL

WITH THESE ART MATERIALS, WE PHEONIX OURSELVES RITUALISTICALLY AND COURAGEOUSLY THROUGH THE FIRES OF DAILY DISASTERS, POLITICAL DISASTERS, SOCIAL DISASTERS TO RETURN WITH NOT ONLY OUR OWN PSYCHES INTACT, TRANSFORMED & BURNT CLEAN BUT WITH FODDER AND BEAUTY FOR OUR CO-PILGRIMS.

I LEARNED EARLY TO BE AN ARTIST VIA THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RITUALS OF MASS, EUCHARIST, CONFESSION, INCENSE, STATUES AND COUNTLESS OTHER LITURGICAL WAYS THAT I WAS CATAPULTED INTO VATICANED MYSTERIOUS AND SYMBOLIC WORLDS. I WANTED TO BE ON THE ALTAR, TO BE A PRIEST, AND COULDNT, SO I IMITATED IN PERFORMANCE WHAT I SAW IN CHURCH BUT MORE EXACTLY WHAT I FELT, WHICH IS TRANSCENDENCE, ECSTASY AND TIMELESS SILENCE. BECUASE I AM A WOMAN, I CANNOT MAKE CHRIST PRESENT ON THE ALTAR BY CONSECRATING THE EUCHARIST BUT I CAN POINT TO THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN MERCY AND COMPASSION IN MY OWN LIFE AND ADDRESS MY OWN NEANDERTHALIZED FLIGHT-FIGHT LEFT BRAIN TENDECIES.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, WE ARTISTS ARE VOCATIONALLY CALLED TO RITUALLY CREATE ORDER OF MATTER SO THAT WE CAN RISE UP, FLOAT AND FLY. WHY DO WE DO THIS? BECAUSE WE LIKE AND KNOW HOW TO CREATE CEREMONIES AND RITUAL.


PATTERN 2a: LET'S ADMIT IT, WE ARE

REPETITION REPEATERS

SYSTEM CREATORS

ANXIETY REFRAMERS

O-CDERS

COMMUNITY BONDERS

LIFECRISIS FIXERS

TRUTH KEEPERS

MIGHTY FOCUSERS

SYMBOL SEEKERS

SCAM SMELLERS

WORSHIP LOVERS

CHARMING HYPNOTIZERS

TRAUMA RE-ORGANIZERS

PURIFICATION ENACTERS

HOLY HAZERS

CONSCIOUS PERFORMERS

ECSTASY TRANCERS

SPIRITUAL MINISTERS

RIGHT BRAIN ADDICTORS

SECURITY STRUCTURERS

BODY MORPHERS

ENERGY NEUTRALIZERS

DEPRESSION PREVENTERS

ZEALOUS PASTORS

ROBOTIC REPEATERS

SOCIAL BONDERS

COMPULSIVE ENACTERS

MORAL RESTRAINERS

DEMON EVICTORS

DEATH DE-CONFIGURERS



PATTERN 3: ART AND THE BRAIN


ARTISTS BRAINS ARE DIFFERENT. TO PROVE OR DISPROVE MY CLAIM, WE TOOK THIS SCAM, BOGUS, TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC AND SIMPLISTICALLY INACCURATE TEST TO DETERMINE OUR BRAINS ORIENTATION. WE CAN AGREE WE HAVE 70 TRILLION CELLS, 230 BONES, 650 MUSCLES AND YET WHEN NEUROBIOLOGIST JILL BOLTE TAYLOR DESCRIBES HER LEFT BRAIN STROKE AND SAYS THAT THE RIGHT BRAIN THINKS IN PICTURES, IS PRESENT MOMENT ORIENTED AND LEARNS KINESTHETICALLY WHILE THE LEFT BRAIN THINKS LINERALLY, METHODICALLY, IS PAST AND FUTURE ORIENTED, HAS A SENSE OF I AND EGO AND FEELS SEPERATE FROM EVERYONE , I BELIEVE HER. DO YOU? I KNOW YOU NEUROSURGEONS, NEUROLOGISTS AND MEDICAL PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE SQUIRMING, PUTTING YOUR FINGERS IN YOUR EARS AND SINGING LA,LA,LA. BUT MY MEDICALLY NON-DOCUMENTED THESIS IS THAT WE ARTISTS ARE VOCATIONALLY CALLED TO MAKE SENSE OF LEFT BRAIN STUFF BY TAKING ALL OF IT...OUR BAGGAGE, WORRIES, GARBAGE AND TRUCK IT OVER TO THE RIGHT BRAIN WHERE COMPASSION, BEAUTY AND AGENDALESS REGARD IS ABLE TO TURN PAIN INTO PAINTINGS, PAIN INTO PAINTINGS, PAIN INTO PAINTINGS.



PATTERN 4: FROM CHAKRAS TO GLANDS



IN MY 50'S, MY HOUSE OF CARDS BEGAN TO SLOWLY COLLAPSE.

1. I HAD FINISHED 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART AND STUDY OF THE CHAKRAS

2. I HAD A LEFT BRAIN SILENT STROKE

3. I WAS REFUSED TENURE

4. I WAS CAREGIVER FOR MY DAD FOR 7 YEARS

5. MY TEACHER , DR ARUNA MEHTA ALSO DIED

6. I BECAME SICK WITH DYSTONIA, A PARKINSONIAN MOVEMENT DISORDER


I HAD REACHED THE SICKNESS, OLD AGE AND DEATH CHAPTERS OF MY LIFE AND FELT STRIPPED OF CHAKRAS, STRIPPED OF BRAIN NEURONS, STRIPPED OF EASY ANSWERS, STRIPPED OF DREAMS, NOT STRIPPED OF CELLULITE OR FACE WRINKLES, STRIPPED OF ART, STRIPPED OF CERTAINTY, STRIPPED OF CREATIVITY AND THROWN INTO HELL. GOING THERE HAS BEEN AN AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE OF TERROR INTO SECRETS STORED IN MY LEFT BRAIN ONCE CEMENTED SHUT AND NOW REDUCING ME TO AN ON MY KNEES POSITION OF SURRENDER.THE VIDEO, STARVED SURVIVORS IS THE RESULT OF THESE YEARS OF RESEARCH INTO THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. WHILE IN THAT DARKNESS ONE DAY, SPASMING AND TWISTED WITH DYSTONIA, I HEARD AN INN ER VOICE THAT SID, "LINDA,YOU LOOK JUST LIKE MOTHER TERESA." AND AFTER YEARS IN LOCKED DOWN JAIL, I FEEL AS IF I CAN NOW TAKE THIS BODY WITH GLANDS, CLIMB UP OUT OF A DANTE-LIKE PUTRID SLIME, WASH CLEAN MY OILED WINGS AND FLY HOME. MOTHER TERESA THANK YOU FOR LOANING YOUR WINGS. THANK YOU FOR LOANING YOUR WINGS, THANK YOU FOR LOANING YOUR WINGS.


LINDA MARY MONTANO, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

HOPE














WRITING HOPE IN THE BRONX: LINDA MARY MONTANO & NICOLAS DUMIT ESTEVEZ



What a great opportunity! A chance to be a transgressive twin again, this time not with a rope but with HOPE, binding me invisibly and happily to Nicolas Dumit Estevez for 3 days, 3 hours a day in his Bronx.

About 6 months ago, Nicolas invited me to help him celebrate his incorporation into Bronxdom and I suggested we perform a "HOPE/PIECE/PEACE". This is not the time or place to suggest the 563,000 reasons why hope is our most valuable personal, political, social commodity so I defer to conceptual art reasons to explain why my first idea referenced recycled plastic bags.... I said to Nicolas, "Let's stand on the streets, 3 hours a day, for 3 days and let folks write their hopes on plastic bags with markers. Then we hang the bags in the gallery." It seemed like a good concept coming from an ex-nun who had sworn herself to poverty and simplicity, right?

We agreed and then a few months later he contacted me, we talked and he said, "Do you want to scan the HOPES written on bags and show the scans instead of plastic bags?" Nicolas's sweet voice can convince me of anything and I let go of the simple, green, bag endurance and we agreed. Scan the bags. It seemed like an aesthetic and good fix and raised the level of plastic to fine art, even though it did involve technology, paper and a larger time commitment.

And then a few months later we talked and Nicolas raised the bar! "Let's let them write their hopes on us," he said. "We can wear white clothes!!!!" So in the tradition of our art mentors: Manzoni, Klein, Yoko Ono, Shirin Neshat and a litany of others; in the tradition of the cave painting ritual of signage as symbol, we ventured into Bronx-land and endured while wearing our white art suits. And as walking, talking, transgressing, living sculptures we invited elders, African Muslims, 12 year old school children, folks on the streets, subways, taxis and buses to STOP! DREAM! SHARE LIFE AND HOPE outside the traumas of the daily news and our individual unimaginably complex everyday dramas.

Nicolas, we play good art/life together,

Linda Mary Montano


TO ALL WHO ATTEND THE OPENING /OR READ THIS STATEMENT:

I am attending the opening invisibly and I invite you to collaborate with me by: WHISPERING YOUR HOPE TO THE AIR.















Bronx Hopes: From Riverdale to Hunts Point.

Linda Mary Montano has the gift of purging art of any of the unnecessary frills that might prevent it from overlapping with life. She strips her ideas to the bare bone, while my tendency is the opposite. Nonetheless, given our unique visions and particular approaches to art and life, several months ago we both found ways to agree to spend three days in my hometown, the Bronx, inviting people in the borough to share their hopes with us.

Our day one of the performance: Riverdale.
I am hesitant to travel from Longwood in the south, South Bronx to a fancy community closer to Manhattan than to my neighborhood. However, I feel responsible for faithfully following our pre-planned performance schedule. Linda and I ride with a taxi driver who does not have a clear picture of our exact destination. Riverdale seems so far removed from Longwood. In Riverdale, you have the impression of things being almost perfect, so there is not a single candy wrapper on the sidewalks. We spend an hour in this part of the Bronx in conversation with a thoughtful host who brings Arabs and Jews together for breaking bread. Linda and I leave the place with two brown bags containing falafels and with several hopes written on our backs. On the number 1 train we meet a group of teenagers and a handful of adults who inscribe their hopes on our clothes. At the Hub, a few blocks before reaching home, we encounter a passerby named Boobie. She writes on both of our hoodies. I vividly remember the woman in a wheelchair, not too far from where we meet Bobbie, who asks Linda to spell for her: “I hope to get my kids back.” In St. Mary’s Park, Linda and I unpack our falafels and eat them as we talk about hope.

Our day two of the performance: Riverdale: West Farms Road and the Grand Concourse.
Linda speaks with a group of students at an intermediate school about the subject of our quest: hope. The class is half-asleep, but eventually the children interject our questions with answers. A sick boy, who is comforted by a young teacher, regains his health surprisingly quickly. He smiles and joins the discussion. Children think twice before writing on our clothes, but soon enough they overcome their hesitation, as the adults in the room invite them to venture into art-life, to live a moment artfully, to break rules. On the other hand, while extremely polite, the staff at the school looks at the twins in white, Linda and I, with suspicion. Linda’s orange wig disrupts their monotonous, clerical routine. Art flirts with productivity.

Later that same day, seniors at a building not too far from the Zoo wait for us in a small room. As a result of some miscommunication, they expect us to give them t-shirts on which they can paint. Instead, they meet a middle-aged man and a woman of their own age who initiate a conversation on hope. The dialogue becomes heated as some of the seniors voice their thoughts about the lack of jobs for young people and the government’s interests in building jails instead of improving the economy. I promise one of them that I will spread the word about her request to get free tickets for the group to attend a play at a Bronx theater. I translate for six seniors called Las Comadres, the Godmothers. They write their hopes on our clothing in Spanish. Traveling from the seniors place in West Farms to Longwood, we watch a rowdy group of teens spill out onto the street outside the McDonald’s at the Prospect subway stop. We exit the scene swiftly. The police patrol the corner.

Our last visit that evening is to a Muslim Center on the Grand Concourse.
Angelika Rinnhofer, one of my former students at the Transart Institute comes from upstate New York to watch the performance. Shoes off. Linda and I climb up the stairs to meet some of the members. Some of the hopes they write match those written by many others, like “peace,” or address common needs in the borough: “Keep the Bronx Clean and Safe.” I ask myself whether these should be a hope or a right. We live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, the Bronx included. The chanting on the lower floor counteracts the weight we carry on our clothes: so many hopes.

Our day three of the performance: Hunts Point.
A Community Development Corporation called The Point offers us a place where we are able to engage people at a women’s health festival. What a blissful ending. Linda and I meet inspiring teens, graffiti artists and a friendly chef. We eat arroz con gandules and drink lemonade. We step outdoors where a man in a van stops to write his hope on my sleeve. Linda gets several tags on her legs before leaving the scene, and the Bronx, for good. I cross the Bruckner full of hopes spelled on my legs, arms and hoodie. One of my shoes reads “courage.” The performance ends, yet people’s hopes outlive our three-day action.

Linda, I hope that you come back to the Bronx. Thank your for your mentorship and for three unforgettable days where art and life met.

Nicolas

***
"Hope" is an independent project initially commissioned by Longwood Arts Gallery/ Bronx Council On The Arts as part of “Born Again,” a project conceived by Nicolas Dumit Estevez for Longwood Arts Gallery/ Bronx Council On The Arts.
***







Photographs: Alex Villaluz

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life as Art, Art as Life: Meeting Linda Montano [+ My Video Art Response]

by: Rachel Znerold

Linda Montano is legendary….an Art Saint, really.

I first knew her as the performance artist who, for an entire year, was tied by a rope to another person. Wow…now that’s dedication.

Linda has been a famed feminist performance artist since the 1960’s, her fascinating work exploring the crossover between life and art through beautiful life-altering ceremonies and rituals. In college, we used to adore her, along with other feminist/activist/artists Yoko Ono, Marina Abromovic, and Judy Chicago.

More recently, I was inspired by her ambitious “7 Years of Living Art,” an Art/Life project dedicated to exploring color and chakra energy. Each year, Linda wore one different monochromatic color corresponding to her seven chakras, switching from red, to orange to yellow throughout the rainbow. In addition, she meditated in a room of that same color each day and listened to a designated tone that connected to the energies and properties of each chakra. And when she finished her seven-year cycle, she did it again for “Another 7 Years of Living Art.”

Several weeks ago, my dearest artist friend and collaborator Lula Mae* brought Linda Montano to my attention again, when she forwarded on an e-mail from famous San Francisco feminist, performer, sex educator and artist Annie Sprinkle. Linda Montano is Annie’s mentor, inspiring her own seven-year color and chakra work, “Love Art Lab,” which is now in its final year.

Linda Montano was coming to San Francisco for a short trip! And right there in Annie’s e-mail was Linda’s phone number and an invitation to meet her for an Art/Life Counseling Session. I knew immediately that I needed to meet Linda, but I was petrified. What would I say?! What if she didn’t have time for me? What if I was doing this “artist” thing wrong?

Hand shaking, I picked up the phone and called her. We set a date to meet the next day, and she assigned me homework: write a 5 minute autobiography of my life as an artist.

When I arrived at the SF Art Institute courtyard, Linda was waiting for me, smiling radiantly, dressed entirely in peach clothing with red Doc Martins, silvery curls blowing in the breezy bay air. I knew immediately we were kindred spirits, and in that moment, I imagined myself in her shoes forty years from now, still making meaningful artwork, taking time to meet and counsel up-and-coming artists. What an inspiration!

Our Art/Life counseling session was intimate and soul baring, using role-playing and dialoguing to unearth my own Art/Life challenges and solutions. In our meeting, Linda held me accountable for things I said I wanted to do, but was afraid to pursue, then she wrote them down and made a pact with me to attempt them. She made my dreams feel possible, only just a few steps away.

One of these goals was to be able to make more video art, and literally THE NEXT DAY after my session with Linda, I met the talented videographer Betty Bigas and together we conceptualized a video piece about the Art/Life continuum.

Later that same week, with the help of talented artists Erin Dudley, Jeremy Teresa Lewis and Julia Russotti, we made the video. It begins with the realization that as an artist, you are one with your artwork, an extension of the work you create. And while we may feel bound or restrained by this identity (I certainly tapped into this feeling while I was stapled to the wall for over two hours), once you break free and begin the process of self-discovery, you can truly get in touch with your own power and strength. (Our Superhero Selves!!)

Life as an artist is a beautiful dance; it is a struggle to find balance; it is an expression of love and spirit. It is simultaneously humbling and empowering to put yourself out into the world with authenticity and vulnerably. I am fragile. I am fierce. I am free.



I feel so much gratitude for my meeting with the amazing and spirited Linda Montano; she is a true example of living whole-heartedly. She seemed to appear in my life in the perfect moment…on the cusp of my 30th birthday…and I already feel the magic she reawakened in me.
I want to share a few other gems of wisdom Linda gave me, and whether or not you identify as an “artist,” they may inspire you to live your life as one grand and beautiful art experiment, and tap into the unlimited power and love we all possess.

Write Down Your Goals - As a young girl, my amazing mother taught me this tool of manifestation (“Write it down: Make it Happen!”) and my meeting with Linda only reinforced this. By putting your dreams into ink, you are making them real, validating their existence, and giving yourself a tool to remind you of them each day.

You ARE Perfect! – I’ve been telling myself for years, “No one is perfect! It’s okay to just be you,” in response to my perfectionist urges, but I found Linda’s approach much more refreshing. “But you ARE perfect!” she told me, “We ALL are.” Phew. That feels good. A subtle shift, but a meaningful one.

Get Down on Your Knees Every Day – Offer up even just a few moments each day to express your gratitude and focus on the Divine Light (or God, Buddha, The Great One, or your own spirit) in your life. As Rumi wrote, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Ask for what you need, and give thanks for the abundance of blessings each and every day. (P.S. I’ve been doing this since, and it feels fantastic. Try it!)

Create Clear Mantras for Yourself - Be kind to yourself! Mantras are an important way to affirm your power, acknowledge where you are, and stay grounded in your goals. Try something simple like, “I am light. I am love.” or “I deserve abundance,” or something more complex and specific to your life. Then write it down and post it on your mirror, saying it to yourself every day.

Embrace COLOR! – A very real energy exists within color, and by incorporating and focusing on these colors in our lives, we can tap into their power while we live a more conscious and intentional life. Choose color when you dress for the day! Stuck in the all-black rut? Start by throwing on a colorful scarf or jewelry! When I joked with Linda that she must have an unbelievable rainbow-colored wardrobe now, she noted that everything she owns has been made for her, given to her, or acquired through thrift or second-hand, so she isn’t buying into the culture of consumption.

Love, love love! – What if every thought and action every moment of every day was based in love? What if we chose love above fear? Love above money? Love above jealousy? Love, love love! What a beautiful world that would be.

Want more Linda Montano Wisdom? (I do!) Take part in her 12-step performance art “Virtual Residency,” read her “Chakra Story,” or watch her fabulous videos to learn more about her work.

*Plus- Read the interview I did with the spectacular performance art divas Lula Mae and Sadie Lune about their show “Prove You’re Not a Robot.”

Photo of Linda: Gisela Gamper.
** This article originally appeared on ElephantJournal.com **

About the author: As a prolific painter, one-of-a-kind fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel Znerold makes a life out of making art. Aiming to share her awe of the world and the art of the everyday, Rachel lives and works in the Mission District in San Francisco. www.rachelzart.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

SUMMER SAINT CAMP:THE 21ST CENTURY

In 1984, for 7 years, I designed a way for people to come and live with me for a week and called it SUMMER SAINT CAMP. It was during my performance 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART and we all dressed in the color that I was wearing that year and performed actions relevant to the Chakra that I was practicing the year that they attended the Saint Camp.(see www.lindamontano.com) It was based on simple living ,the "art povera" principles of less is more and the practice of making art to bring closure to the past and homeopathically prepare for the future by acting strong in advance of the unknown.

Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Vera, Barbara Carrellas, Sylvia Nakkach, Helene Aylon and many others joined me in Kingston, NY at THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE, each for a week and they received PERFORMANCE ART/SAINT DEGREES at the conclusion of their residency.

They practiced conservation of water,cold showers, used only 4 sheets of toilet paper, ate vegetarian meals, practiced silence, performed blindfolded and found ways to make an art of their everyday life as outlined in my book ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE, 1980.The days were structured in a convent format and as an ex-novice having lived in a convent for 2 years, I brought to the experience a good memory of that time and gifts from sacred and artful living.

SUMMER SAINT CAMP IS BACK!!! some 20 years later. This time I am inviting performers to come for 3 HOURS , and I suggest you take a vow to endure without using cell phones, laptops or any outside communication device for the time we are together. You have the option to participate individually or with a friend or as a group.

Come to Kingston NY, for THIS 3 HOUR hour ART/LIFE experience . Bring your own toilet paper, water and food. Choose beforehand the GLAND or SACRAMENT that you would like to explore, the life issues you wish to perform, the color you want to wear. I now focus on GLANDS and SACRAMENTS and as a certified Laughter Leader, we will also be using that sound-making device in our time together as well as have a chance to work on any art/life issue discovered during the residency. Everything is practiced in a careful, compassionate and yet energetic manner with respect for everyone's boundaries. You have the option to cite: "Collaborated with Linda Mary Montano", on your resume after this residency if you wish.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TESTIMONIALS:

"SUMMER SAINT CAMP transformed my life for good and forever. I left Camp knowing I was truly the artist I had never allowed myself to be. Linda's encouragement and guidance still infuses all my work. SUMMER SAINT CAMP may be the most important commitment you make to your artist self." BARBARA CARRELLAS, Life/Artist and Author of URBAN TANTRA SACRED SEX FOR THE 21ST CENTURY


"SUMMER SAINT CAMP was simply the most brilliant, profound, life enhancing workshop I've ever done. I found my calling, quadrupled my income, got spiritually satisfied, fell in love, enriched my sex life and my art career really took off. Sign up today."
ANNIE SPRINKLE, Artist/Author/Lecturer/Ecosexual


"My first night at Linda Montano's SUMMER SAINT CAMP I had what Linda described as a "seven chakra dream". It encompassed the most pressing issues in my life at that time. By the end of my stay, I created an art piece that reflected that dream and improved my life. Her philosophy that life is art is the cornerstone of my Academy. Linda Montano will help you to be a saint and miracle worker." VERONICA VERA, Author and Founder, MISS VERA'S TRANSGENDER ACADEMY

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SOME SUMMER SAINT CAMP PARTICULARS:

FROM NYC : TAKE ADIRONDACK TRAILWAYS TO KINGSTON NY; TAXI TO 185 ABEEL ST, KINGSTON NY OR I CAN PICK YOU UP....

WHEN: CHOOSE A DAY FROM MAY 1-AUGUST 31

COST: SLIDING SCALE: $160-$700 for 3 HOURS: CASH

BRING TOILET PAPER, DRINK AND FOOD, WEAR ONE COLOR CLOTHES

DIPLOMA: YOU WILL RECEIVE AN ART/LIFE/SAINT PERFORMANCE ARTIST DEGREE AS AN EMAIL AFTER THE RESIDENCY

MAPQUEST: 185 ABEEL ST, KINGSTON NY 12401

CONTACT: lindamontano@hotmail.com 845. 246. 4482 (not after 7pm ET)

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DEAR ARTISTS OF ART AND ARTISTS OF LIFE

BEFORE I BEGIN, MY FELLOW PERFORMER AND I, KATHERINE WILLIAMSON, WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT AN AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION GAME CALLED C.G.R.C., TRANSLATED AS COMMUNITY OF GIVING, RECEIVING AND CONNECTING. WE ALL KNOW ABOUT CPR, THIS IS CGRC,. IN FACT IF THERE IS A MEDICAL PERSON HERE WHO COULD DEMONSTRATE CPR, IF NOT, CHEST ONLY, NO MORE MOUTH TO MOUTH, USING THE HEEL OF THE HAND WHILE HUMMING STAYING ALIVE. CORRECT? CAN WE PRACTICE HUMMING STAYING ALIVE IN GOOD PAULINE OLIVEROS FASHION?

TO RETURN TO CGRC, IT WORKS LIKE THIS: PRESENT A NEED OR PRESENT TO US SOMETHING YOU CAN GIVE THEN CONNECT VIA IMMEDIATE CELL NUMBER GIVEN HERE, IN PUBLIC, OR EMAIL ADDRESS SHOUTED OUT OR CONNECTING AFTER THE PROGRAM? TO DEMONSTRATE: I NEED TO FIND SOMEONE WHO NEEDS A TAX WRITE OFF TO BUY MY ARCHIVE, OWN IT AND THEN DONATE IT TO NEW YORK UNIVERSITY. THE FINDERS FEE IS I GIVE THEM A DAY WITH LINDA MONTANO, TIED AT THE WAIST OR WRIST OR LEG WITH AN 8 FT ROPE. NOW LETS PLAY...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SERIOUSLY, IT IS TRULY A PLEASURE TO BE HERE AGAIN AT THE SFAI, MY ART HOME. IT TAKES A TEAM TO COORDINATE OUR LIVES: FOR EXAMPLE WE EAT A BAGEL BUT FIRST THERE IS A SEED PLANTED IN THE EARTH AND IT IS WATERED, WEEDED, PICKED, HARVESTED, GROUNDED, TRUCKED TO A PLACE WHERE IT IS MADE INTO A BAGEL AND HEN IT IS TRUCKED TO A STORE AND SOMEONE DRIVES TO THE STORE AND BUYS IT, BRINGS IT HOME, CUTS IT, TOASTS IT, PUTS CREAM CHEESE ON IT AND THEN EATS IT.

THANK YOU SHARON GRACE, TONY LABAT AND ALLAN DE SOUZA FOR ORCHESTRATING THE VISIT, THANK YOU SARAH EWICK FOR MANAGING ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS, THANK YOU KATHERINE WILLIAMSON FOR PERFORMING WITH ME, THANKS TO SASHA DOBS, MANAGER OF THE LECTURE HALL AND KENT LONG , PROJECTIONIST,THANKS TOBE CAREY VIDEO EDITOR...AND THANKS TO EACH OF YOU FOR FINDING TIME TO COME HERE, ON FOOT, CAR, BUS, SUBWAY, BIKE, TAXI, ..I APPRECIATE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN A GROUP, ONE HOUR, FACE-TIME PERFORMANCE. IN 25 YEARS WE MIGHT BE LISPING ROBOTS FACE TO ROBOT FACE, WHO KNOWS?

TRULY I THANK YOU FOR YOUR FACE TIME, A REAL COMMODITY, AND WONDER HOW YOU GOT HERE? HOW MANY PARKED INA 2-HOUR ZONE? DROVE OVER 1 HOUR TO GET HERE?

HOW MANY TOOK BUS? TAXI? BIKE? BOAT? HOW MANY LEFT CAREGIVING A PARENT, FRIEND, CHILD TO GET HERE? HOW MANY LEFT A GARDEN? MEDITATION CUSHION? MISSED A MEAL? HOW MANY SPENT MORE THAN 7 DOLLARS TO GET HERE? I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PRESENCE.

ORIGINALLY I WAS GOING TO SHOW THE FILM, NO WORDS, BUT.. THEN THE BIRDS, THEN THE MUD, THEN MORE WATER, THEN OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS MORE AND MORE NUMBERLESS TOXIC NUMBINGS KEPT COMING AND I RESPONDED TO OUR PRESIDENTS CALL FOR AN INCREASE OF ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, RESPONSIBILITY AND CIVILITY BY MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH MY ART CONTENT. OF COURSE WE ARTISTS ARE NOT HAVING TO BE AS RESPONSIBLE AS THE NEUROSURGEON IMPLANTING A DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION UNIT IN A PATIENT, OR AS ACCOUNTABLE AS A JET AIRLINE PILOT FLYING TO COSTA RICA OR AS WAKEFUL AS A SCHOOL BUS DRIVER BRINGING FIRST-GRADERS BACK HOME AT 2:30PM. WE ARTISTS ARE ACCOUNTABLE IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY TO MYSTERY ITSELF OR AS POET JEROME ROTHENBERG STATES.... WE ARE TECHNICIANS OF THE SACRED. BUT GOOD CATHOLIC GIRL THAT I HAVE RE-BECOME, I NEED TO GIVE WARNINGS AND DISCLAIMERS JUST IN CASE .......


THE FILMS:

THE BUDDHA SAW SICKNESS OLD AGE AND DEATH AND GOT BUSY WAKING UP..I AM INSPIRED TO DO THE SAME, NOT ONLY BECAUSE MY ITALIAN ZEN FATHER USED TO SAY, LINDA WAKE UP ALOT BUT BECAUSE 1. I HAVE A MOVEMENT DISORDER, 2. IM OLD, AND 3. MY BEST FRIEND DR. ARUNA MEHTA DIED.

DISCLAIMER 1. FOR FILM: THE LISPING ROBOT POVERA: MY MOTHER COLLECTED MOST OF THESE MASKS AND IN HER 70S WENT OUT TRICK OR TREATING ON HALLOWEEN WEARING THEM. SHE IS MY FIRST PERFORMANCE ART TEACHER. I DISCLAIM THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DISCLAIM HERE, EXCEPT THAT I GREW UP WITH THESE MASKS AND THEY REFERENCE NOTHING BUT MY EARLY CHILDHOOD INFLUENCES AND MY MOTHER'S CREATIVITY.

DISCLAIMER 2:FOR FILM DYSTONIA: HIDE YOUR EYES IF U DONT LIKE NEEDLES..TEXT, CLEAR YOUR CELLPHONE, CHECK YOUR EMAIL, BALANCE YOUR CHECKBOOK ...BUT KNOW THAT MY INTENTION IS TO USE MY PAIN AS A METHOD AND MATERIAL FOR ART. THE WAY I DO THAT IS TO CUT AND PASTE ILLNESS AND BRING IT OUT OF THE OYE VEY MIND, THEN TRANSFORM PAIN WITH WORDS, FILM, PERFORMANCE, BOOKS....
DEMONSTRATING THE RECIEPE: IF LIFE OR THE PLANET HURTS MAKE ART, IF LIFE OR THE PLANET DOESNT HURT, MAKE ART. ART IS NEUROBIOLOGY.

(HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE A STROKE. TED TALKS...JILL B TAYLOR, NEURO BIOLOGIST)

DISCLAIMER 3 FOR FILM: MOTHER TERESA: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT: ONE DAY WHILE MY DYSTONIA CRAMPED ME OVER , I FELT JUST LIKE MOTHER TERESA. THAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THIS PERFORMANCE. HONESTLY POPE BENEDICT, I’M NOT PARODYING RELIGION, JUST PRAYING AS ART.

DISCLAIMER 4 FOR FILM: THANK YOU DR ARUNA MEHTA: MATAJI, MA, BA(GRANDMOTHER ) HAS MANY NAMES, BUT I KNOW HER AS THE MOTHER OF

COMPASSION. IN THIS FILM ARE FOUR OF HER MANY GRANDCHILDREN: NEHA ,DIMPESH, AMISHA AND AMI AND HER HUSBAND. ASHISH, HER GRANDSON IS WITH US TONIGHT.

MY INTENTION IS TO HONOR HER AND SHARE HER GREATNESS WITH U. AT THE END OF THE PERFORMANCE I WILL GIVE YOU A PAPER WHICH CONTAINS ONE OF HER WISDOM SAYINGS.THIS FILM IS WITHOUT DISCLAIMER.

DISCLAIMER 5 FOR THE YOU TUBE OF 2 YEAR OLD GIRL SINGING. THE DISCLAIMER IS: COMPASSIONATE HOPE.


AT AMERICAN INDIAN POTLATCHES ,GIFTS WERE GIVEN. I END THIS INTRODUCTION WITH THE GIFT OF A QUICK VERBAL SCAN OF THE BODY. A GIFT OF GRATITUDE TO,

THE 300 TRILLION CELLS OF THE BODY, GRATITUDE TO THE 230 BONES, THE 650 MUSCLES, NO PAY, THE 7 GLANDS, THE 24 FEET OF INTESTINE,

GRATITUDE TO THE HEART, TO THE HEART, TO THE HEART..............

THANK YOU

LINDA

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle Interview Linda Mary Montano

LINDA M. MONTANO’S ARCHIVE
Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle


Seminal performance artist Linda M. Montano’s archive is for sale. The buyer must insure that her life’s work will be properly preserved so it can be studied and enjoyed by future generations. Several major art institutions have nibbled and it won’t be long before one bites. Take a guided tour of the archive anytime; go to You Tube, search “Linda Mary Montano Archive For Sale.” Linda herself is the tour guide. There are three levels. Level I includes her paper writings, books, reviews and letters. Level 11 includes Level 1 plus her clothing, photo documents, early paintings, and items she used in her every day life, signed as performance art ephemera, as her “life is art.” With Level 111 the archive comes with a two-story building; “The Art/life Institute” in Kingston, New York, an artfully restored bakery, which Linda rebuilt and decorated herself.
At 69 years old, Linda Montano is going strong and her archive continues to grow. During a recent public intervention she spent three days in front of the Empire State Building performing as Mother Teresa of Calcutta where she greeted passers by and spread the love. Montano’s work has always been humanitarian in nature. The sari with the blue trim which she wore, will be added to the archive. These days Montano is a self-described “Catholic Performance Artist,” creating yet another groundbreaking genre of performance art. This is “testimony to my Catholic childhood and need to re-see early roots.”
Montano’s many endurance and durational pieces have strongly influenced contemporary performance art. Her visual art, her teaching, and “life as art” performances have profoundly moved and inspired many. She began doing performance art full time in 1971. Before that she lived in a Roman Catholic convent for two years preparing to be a Maryknoll nun, on a mission to help those in need and “cure leprosy.” When she became severely anorexic she had to leave the convent, and then she discovered that art making was her best medicine for recovery. Thus began her strong connection between art and life, and her conception of “life is art.”
Montano went on to get her MA in sculpture at Villa Schifanoia in Italy, then her MFA at the University of Wisconsin. She lived and worked in San Francisco from 1970 to 1975 and returned often to teach classes and workshops. She lived in a Zen Monastery. Later, she studied for thirty years at the Ananda Ashram with her spiritual teacher, Dr. Ramamurti Mishra. Montano taught performance art at many universities including the San Francisco Art Institute, Bard College, Temple University, Ohio University and University of Texas. Linda Montano has initiated many people into serious art practices and has given permission to others to make art of their life.
A few of Montano’s historic performance pieces are Rope Piece, where she and artist Tehching Hsieh tied themselves together with eight feet of rope between them for one full year during his Art/Life: One Year Performance. They never removed the rope and never touched. She has performed two seven-year-long pieces; 14 Years Of Living Art 1984-1998, where each year of her life was devoted to a different theme and color, and different commitments based on the theology of the seven chakras. During the first seven-year piece, once a month she sat in the window of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, read people’s tarot cards and gave them Art/Life Counseling as art. The lines were continuous and many people reported that the experience changed their lives for the better. Her videos such as Mitchell’s Death and Learning to Talk are part of any respectable history of performance art class and have played in the world’s finest museums and galleries, including the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. From 1998 To 2005 Montano “experienced” seven years of “Dad Art,” caretaking her sick father who eventually passed away. She states that, “this event was the culmination of my entire practice as an artist.”
Fourteen years ago, Linda Montano put out a public invitation to other artists to utilize her seven-year Living Art performance structure and do their own life’s version of it. This project is titled Another 21 Years of Living Art 1998-2019. Currently 14 other artists are doing her piece incorporating their own unique vision, including an eight-year-old boy in collaboration with his artist mom in Australia. We are fortunate to be part of that group, and the experience has been extraordinary.

ART/LIFE WITH LINDA M. MONTANO
Interview by Elizabeth M. Stephens and Annie M. Sprinkle



Beth: Which do you use, “life as art” or “art as life?” And how did this term get into circulation?

Linda: It is interchangeable and I learned it from Alan Kaprow who studied with Suzuki. I was in San Francisco in the 70's and was also influenced by Tom Marioni, Terry Fox, Howard Fried, Barbara T. Smith, and Bonnie Sherk who created the FARM. I see ART=LIFE/LIFE=ART as an Asian concept—that the sacredness of life touched everything-- that art is indistinguishable from life. That’s why Kaprow along with John Cage and Pauline Oliveros, became enamored of chance operations. They took away the "judging head " and broke down barriers. Then, moving to San Diego, I continued to be influenced by Pauline and Kaprow and Ellie Antin who taught at UC San Diego as well. Pauline had put her tape recorder on the windowsill and decided to tape everything, listen to everything and compose with that spaciousness....sound=music.
And of course the Women’s Building in Los Angeles, was a giant ART/LIFE experience/experiment.

Beth: So if you think about the work you’ve done and where you have been, what do you think your most important contributions have been to the art world?

Linda: Humor, an ironic twist that pushes things to another level and takes away the kind of seriousness and pomposity that could be a kind of elititism, and birth a world of artists who have gifts and brains that would set them apart from the populous, the people.

Annie: Do you have a favorite work you have produced?

Linda: My favorite "piece" really was taking care of my father. That was a quintessential art life piece. I used my video camera not to make art but to hide behind because of the pain of having to watch him with my own eyes. When I started seeing it as art it was easier to witness, see and transform what was happening. Then later after my Dad died, I made a two-hour movie about him. That was pivotal, because it changed me from what I was before to what I am now. I went back in time, back into my child house, my childhood. Being so near my father, and the intensity of that, I became another person. Humor was my gift in my early work. I see the humor somewhat now, but it’s not a consistent humor. There is something else, and I’m not sure what. Something more real has entered. It’s not that I have given up humor. I just performed as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which had a twinge of irony because here I am a “dystoniac”(I have cervical dystonia) bent over in spasm, and making believe I’m her. That's funny, no? There is also something else that is interesting that is happening. In 1970 I sat in front of a video camera for a year and became different characters. Now I’m wanting to become live people. Now I’m wanting to not be make-believe people, but Mother Teresa, Bob Dylan, and Paul McMahon. Before I was Dr. Jane Gooding, and it was fake. Before I was trying to get out of myself and now I’m trying to get nearer to people, to get out of isolation and into intimacy. I will be "you" because I need to share my life. Before it was I’ve gotta get out of my life and be these false people. Also I just finished an essay on this titled “Masks.” See my blog: (HTTP://LINDAMARYMONTANO.BLOGSPOT.COM) I talk about the four levels of consciousness: unconscious, subconscious, conscious and superconscious and I see that I have portrayed all four levels in my persona work: the alcoholic, the professional, the real person(Bob Dylan) and the Guru. It all revolves around accepting all aspects of the self. The neurobiological aspects of rehearsing being another person, changes my brainwaves.

Annie: I adore your humor. Your humor starts in my gut and radiates out my body. It’s not a surface humor that goes inward but a very deep humor that explodes outward. It is spiritually that provides spiritual nourishment.

Linda: Thanks Annie. My grandmother was very funny. She would take her teeth out on holidays and sing. And my mother dressed up on Halloween and went trick or treating.

Beth: My grandmother would take her teeth out too! It was very funny, and very scary. What do you think is the highest form of life-art?

Linda: Anything that creates an ecstasy in the artist; where there is a suspension of time, of judgment. Suspension. There’s a riding the wave of ecstasy when everyone is on the same page. No one is dragging the rudder of judgment or disbelief. It is when the artist is in the state of creation... Or when the artist is co-creating with other ARTISTS/LIFEISTS and they are riding the same train in the same manner and don’t care about time or space. In Catholicism it is called The Mystical Body of Christ. In life, it is ecstasy.

Annie: Are you proud to be an artist?

Linda: I’m very, very happy that I was chosen. I don’t think you choose. The universe chooses people. I am honored to be chosen to be an artist. I don’t think I have anything to do with it.

Beth: What’s the most fun you have had making art?

Linda: I love being different personas, I love being other people. The first time I was Mother Teresa I blew myself away. Me blowing me! And that is so correct because we think… is this blowing the audience away? No, that is the wrong thinking. We have to blow ourselves into ecstasy. When I was studying sculpture in Italy, I dropped the idea of being a studio artist. I collected Italian found objects , audience members picked up an object (according to numbers) which they individually assembled and make a sculpture. That was the beginning of my liberation. Another one happened when my college teacher and mentor, Mother Mary Jane at the College of New Rochelle, gave me “art-wings” and I made a group ceramic mural on a public wall in 1965. Oh yes, freedom for sure.

Annie: You’ve been using recycled materials for a LONG time. Would you say you’ve been in the environmental art movement?

Linda: I think it’s more that I learned thrift, a frugality and a respect for matter from my family. I remember my dad drawing one bowl of water to wash in the morning; everything was done with this one bowl of "sacred" water. Our life was very monastic. My grandmother recycled everything and had a whole album full of condensed milk cows cut from labels. Yeah, recycling is natural to some people because they grew up that way. And then it becomes a movement like Art Povera or Eco-art.
Poverty, war, recessions, depression, a non-consumerist ethos allows for a neo environmental-green that is now au courant.

Beth: Is there such a thing as a failed art project in art/life?

LINDA: We must always think about consequences even though we are these freedom-fighting-geniuses called artists. I would say, as a cautionary word, that the beauty of our calling as artists is to see beyond; we must be the creator, beyond limits, and regulations, and beyond consequences. And yet in the world of reality there ARE consequences. That’s the paradox and makes some of us want to stay in the cave. It takes time and wisdom, and it takes stumblings, and those kinds of haphazard and consequential mistakes to realize that first flush of, oh, I’m going to do this and its going to be fabulous, without thinking of the consequences. Horribleness happens. It is part of the game. But as I age, I can take less and less of it as my stress level seizes me up. Honestly I’m quite content sitting in the kick back chair and watching Entertainment Tonight re-runs. Its good ART/LIFE for me and I am failure-free!!

Beth: So do you think there is such a thing as failure, or is it just part of the process of becoming an artist, and an adult?

Linda: I think that there are no mistakes because there is reality in both. It is "What can I stomach?" I just wrote a "hell" poem inspired from my college days studying the Divine Comedy. My version is composed of layers of hell with exclamations of pain. The poem is titled ENTER (see blog). It is about serial failures and it was so cleansing to write. Failure as art. Exorcising the dark....

Beth: Can you talk about being a Catholic performance artist Linda?

Linda: In these complex times of recessive recessions, downsized possessions, boundaried vacations, medical quarantines, folded funding, foreclosed dreams, I decided or felt called to Become a Catholic Again! It is an exciting return and also has its own challenges. Being a Catholic artist is very new for me, about 10 years old. It came from teaching at the university because there, I had "art children" and I didn’t know how to be an "art mother". I had been a gig-er before that. I went to gigs in different cities/countries, did my thing and left. No consequences, no muss, no fuss. But teaching for seven years with a group of young people at the same place was a whole other ball game. I had to be a moral compass and protector of their physical/psychological/spiritual safety. Not having had children, I had no idea how to do that so there were times when there were flower-child-art-students, running aesthetically in the halls and a whole lot of performative incredibleness happening that Linda-art loved but Linda-teacher had no idea how to decipher. I went to the Church to get help!

Beth: If you had a young student now that wanted to do life art what advice would you give?

Annie: I’d say ‘call Linda Montano because she’s the best art mother there is.’

Linda: Annie, you are always so generous and supportive of me, and I tear-up with it always… What would I say? Don’t be scared, yet be careful. I’m watching an extremely ill friend who is in her sixties. She had a stroke. Kathy Brew and I were standing next to her bed. She was in critical care. We sang to each other, because we were both feeling the same thing, “What’s it all about Alfie?” And I guess we both agreed that it doesn’t matter how long that resume is when it comes down to the deathbed and final breath. I think I’m coming to that kind of realization which time and age reveal… How to illustrate this? I think when people begin aging and see other people age and when things change so drastically, like my father’s illness, and then returning to Catholicism, having a medical issue where I’m so health focused… I think priorities change.
Can I now be as spicy, and as loyal to the image, to my students, to the video, to the performance, to my brilliance, or to the painting as Georgia O’Keefe was in an interview of her I saw when she was ninety-two. She looked as sharp and committed and focused on being an artist… just like a rattlesnake watching her prey ....and this I could see as she was getting out of her car, going up into the woods on her way to paint New Mexico sunsets. I want to bull dog my way to the end and hang on to the bone of my art and life in a dignified, totally comical, graceful, divinely directed and correct way just like Georgia. Fate might deal me a different strategy. Thanks to my belief-system, it is all, no matter what, wonderful art and a wonderful life.

Beth: Do you think your work is interventionist art? And what do you think that term means?

Linda: There are programs on some of the 400,000 TV programs I watch a week that are about interventions for drugs, alcohol, etc. I think intervention is about: speaking the difficult. Artists really hang out in the difficult, are obliged to communicate the difficult.

Annie: How do you feel like feminism and religion have interacted with your work?

Linda: Feminism is a word that I really don’t apply to myself and I feel really quite inept in this journey I’m on with this Catholic position. Sometimes its working and I’m pretty happy with it and other times not. For example, I go to the jail on Sundays and do a Catholic service there. There is one guard, a man, who likes telling anti-Catholic jokes. There are two other women there and they just listen to the jokes and laugh. They’re more mature than I am. Last time he said he had a new joke. I said, ‘Is it a Catholic joke? Because if it is, I’m leaving.’ And I left. I don’t like the way I did it. I’m proud that I left, but I wish I had done it with more creativity, with humor. With ART! Creativity is the ticket. How to get out of situations or into situations that are more nourishing because I ended up winning in my own eyes, and I don’t want to do that any more. Loving is winning because when l look at a friend on her deathbed…who cares who’s winning. Who cares? There’s just one less person at MY funeral when I’m so intent on winning!

Annie: In terms of your art life practice what are you current commitments/projects now? Didn’t you take a vow to not write for a year?

Linda: The writing commitment is up 2012. It was for seven years. I was going to wear orange forever, and that is getting really mushy. I have a lot of orange clothes but I slip in browns and purples and reds. But as I said before, I’m more focused on compiling, completing, concluding the past, and bringing it into some sort of crescendo/conclusion. That was why I took this no-writing vow. I wanted to cure myself of greedily creating as if I were an art addict and not a lover of truth. Artaholics are not necessary.

Beth: Could you talk about the current group that Annie and I are participating in with you? There are about ten other artists using your Seven Years of Life as Art and seven-chakra structure. Are you glad you made the call for people to join you in using your structure? Is this maybe a strategy for a longer project? What’s it like collaborating with people? What is your response to having this project?

Linda: As far as 21 Years of Living Art is concerned, every 7 years, artists “do their 7 year thing” under the auspices of this school that I founded because I truly love endurance and I wanted to share my love with others. One day I see my thinking about what people are doing in this school as ecumenical-offerings which are not quite Roman Catholic but certainly are spiritual (not religious), and then the next day I want to hide and feel as if I am uncomfortably pushing my boundaries of Catholic belief. Yes, that says it, my boundaries of belief. So right now the school is a wonderful mix of geniuses who are forcing me into deciding whether I’m going to be a fundamentalist finger wagging Catholic church woman via SNL, or if I am there to encourage creativity.

Beth: Here’s a question from our editor, Roxi Hamilton, “How do you feel that ritual and longevity, like 7-year performance cycles, intervene in and shape our conceptions of how art affects life?”

Linda: I want her to answer that one!

Beth: Here’s another one from Roxi., “ How do you regard your extension of ancestry, and that’s borrowing appropriating and extending your 7-year chakra paradigm and whether the 7-year performances should be repeatedly reconceptualized by other artists?”

Linda: I think it’s in the culture anyway. I think that performance art has a way of infecting culture, and then reappearing. It’s already happening, and it’s happened. A lot of it is because the computer has squashed and trumped time, and is preparing us for robotization and intellectual piracy. These attempts of these interventionist artists to speak to, and hold on to time is really an Armageddon-like attempt to point towards a loss via the machine. Endurance is a response to the information age. Endurance is availability. Endurance is staying the course. Endurance gives us a taste of solidity that is being lost to floating avatarily in SECOND LIFE.

Beth: One more question from Roxi. “Your personal spiritual, and artistic vocabulary seems to be composed of a hybrid of mostly Catholic but also Indian influences, the guru, the chakras, etc. Can you comment on the significance of combining your own childhood religion with the language and practice of other cultures?”

Linda: It can only be a richer meal.

Beth: Anything else you would like to say?

Linda: Buy my archive so I can simplify. lindamontano@hotmail.com See it on You Tube. Its called “Archive for Sale.” I’m giving a finder’s fee for the best price.

Annie: Who would the ideal buyer be?

Linda: The Getty, NYU, Bard, An International Institute? See Part 4 of the video and find a place. Fast. Anywhere that the Archive can be used for research would be good. I’m really putting effort into putting my papers, books, videos and objects in order. I’m becoming an archivist. Does that mean I’m now a librarian? Not another persona, please! The best scenario is if somebody bought the Kingston “Art/Life Institute” and kept the archive there and used it as a study center, a performance center. That would be perfect!

Annie: I’d give anything to see that happen.

Beth: That’s really exciting.

Linda: ART LIVES!!!!!!!!!!

We highly encourage you to contact Linda Mary Montano for Art/Life/Laughter Counseling. Or gather her unique wisdom from her three books: Art In Everyday Life, Performance Artists Speaking In the 80’s, Letters from Linda M. Montano. Invite her to do lectures, workshops, and performances in your city. Visit her web site at lindmontano.com. If you are interested in acquiring her amazing archive, contact her at lindamontano@hotmail.com. Buy it and donate it to NYU or find a rich uncle who needs a tax write off and let him buy it, then donate it to NYU. Your finder’s fee is a day tied to Linda with love.