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Thursday, November 20, 2014

LECTURE FROM SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE HALLOWEEN 2014


LECTURE FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE  HALLOWEEN VIDEO-PERFORMANCE BY LINDA MARY MONTANO OCT 31 ,2014

HALLOWEEN  ORIGINATED 2000 YEARS AGO AS A CELTIC HARVEST FEAST AND WAS CALLED SAMHAIM. IT MARKED THE BEGINNING OF WINTER, A TIME WHEN GHOSTS RETURNED TO THE EARTH TO COMPROMISE THE CROPS AND SCARE THE PEOPLE. THE CELTS WORE ANIMAL MASKS AND SKINS AS A WAY TO INTERACT WITH AND COMMUNICATE WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD.
CHRISTIANS RE-INVENTED THE HARVEST RITUAL AND CALLED IT ALL-HALLOWS DAY, TO REMEMBER:
1. THE DEAD
2. THE SAINTS OR "HALLOWS"
3. THE MARTYRS.

THE THEME OF THIS HOLIDAY IS "USING HUMOR AND REDICULE TO CONFRONT THE POWER OF DEATH."

I SEE HALLOWEEN AS A TIME TO CLEAN OUT, CLEAR OUT, COLONIC THE FEAR QUADRANT OF THE BRAIN BY TURNING UP THE HEAT ON HORRIFYING HORRORS OF OUR SCARY UNIVERSE. WE DO THIS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR ADRENAL GLANDS ARE OPERATING SUCCESSFULLY, NOT DEPLETED,AND WE ALSO DO THIS SO THAT WE CAN HONOR THE SCARY DEBRIS THAT HAS ACCUMULATED FROM THE PAST HALLOWEEN.
MY ARTIST MOTHER, MILDRED MONTANO, MENTORED ME HOW IT COULD BE CELEBRATED BY CROSS-DRESSING EACH YEAR AND GOING UNRECOGNIZED TO THE PORCHES OF HER NEIGHBORS, THRILLING HERSELF BY HER DISGUISE AND SURPRISING HER FRIENDS WHEN SHE TOOK OFF HER MASK. SHE DID THIS INTO HER 70'S.
HALLOWEEN FITS MY OWN NEED TO HONOR THE HORRIBLY HORRIFIC BY FACING  REAL DARKENSS AND REAL TRUTH RITUALUISTICALLY, PLAYFULLY, OPERATICALLY AND AESTHETICALLY.   DIMENTIA AND ALZHEIMERS WERE ONCE MY FEARS OF CHOICE, THUS THE VIDEO NURSE, NURSE, BUT SINCE THE EBOLA PANDEMIC, MY CHOICES HAVE WIDENED AND I NOW HAVE WIDENED MY VISION AS WE ALL LIVE IN A HORRID GROUP SOUP OF TERROR. ADMITTEDLY THIS HALLOWEEN IS AN INCREDIBLY SPECIAL ONE AND SORELY NEEDED.


THE OTHER VIDEO I WILL SHOW IS A 34 MINUTE WORK IN PROGRESS TITLED LIVING ART/DYING ART.
IT INCLUDES  REALLY ANCIENT FEARS, TABOOS AND CULTURAL DEATH CEREMONIES THAT ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT BECAUSE NOW ISSUES FROM THE LATE 90'S THAT I WROTE ABOUT BACK THEN ARE TOTALLY OUTDATED AND ARE BLAND NEXT TO OUR UNIVERSAL INSOMNIA CAUSING ACTUAL PANDEMIC NIGHTMARES.
I NEED HELP.  WE ALL NEED HELP! HELP TO LET GO OF TERROR, LET GO OF QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS, LET GO OF  MIGRAINED FEAR OF FLYING AND TERROR OF DYING. MAYBE THE 3 HALLOWEENETTE- GLANDETTES CAN HELP US? I INVITE 3 GLANDETTE- HALLOWEEN-ETTES TO COME FORWARD TO CELEBRATE RELEASING OF TRAUMA WITH US. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CATHARTICALLY SCREAM, SHREEK, SHOUT,  GRIMACE AND MAKE GESTICULATIONS OF TERROR AS I READ A LIST OF CURRENT HORRIFYING HORRORS, GATHERED FROM THE MEDIA, POST ISIS/ EBOLA 2014. AND THEY WILL IM SURE INSPIRE YOU ALSO TO JOIN IN THEIR COLONOSCOPY OF SOUND BY MAKING LOW BOOOOO'S, MIDDLE  BOOO'S AND HIGH BOOOOO'S.


ASPECT  1:
CRUCIFIXIONS
BEHEADINGS
PESTILENCES
FLOODS
PLAGUES
HURRICANES
TYPHONS
CYCLONES
DROUGHTS
LANDSLIDES
EARTHQUAKES

ASPECT 2:
SMART  CARS
FOODLESS  FOOD
MISSING  AIRPLANES
RADIATED  FISH
GHOULISH LIFE-MARES
CONFUSED  CLERGY
QUARANTEENED NURSES
EXPLODING ROCKETS
FLOWING LAVA
AIRBOURNE  VIRUSES

CONFUSED  TEENS
JITTERY  JIHADISTS
JOBLESS  DISCONTENTS
POISONED  FOOD
RECALLED  CARS
BOTOXED  MOVIESTARS
BATTERED  BEES
OVER-DRUGGED  DEPRESSIVES
HUNGRY  HOMELESS
RELIGIOUS  FUNDAMENTALISTS
RANDY  ROBOTS
SLIMY  SINKHOLES
UNTOUCHED  INFANTS
MONSTER  MILITANTS
SOLAR  STORMS
POLICE  BULLIES
GREEDY  CEO'S
FOOTBALL  INJURIES
CONSPIRACY  THEORISTS
BURNED OUT DOCTORS
TORTURING  NARCISSISTS
PARALYZING  VIRUSES
DRIFTING  DRONES
SUBTERRANEAN  HUMS
CONTAGIOUS TOILETS
EXPLODING VOLCANOES
HARRIED  HOSTESSES


ASPECT 3:
TEXTING  DRIVERS
TOILET  PAPER  WASTERS
WILD  FIRE  STARTERS
MEDICATION  ABUSERS
ANIMAL  HOARDERS
GYMNASTIC THUMBERS
SECRET SERVICE SLACKERS
VICTORY RIOTERS
WHITE HOUSE HACKERS
FREE LOADERS
CONTAGIOUS COUGHERS
INSANITY DEFENDERS
FEAR  MONGERS
LONELY  ELDERS
JAILED  NON  OFFENDERS
MONEY   STEALERS
WATER  RUNNERS
ORGAN  HARVESTERS
WANDERING  SENIORS
ENERGY  GRABBERS
CARELESS  CAREGIVERS
SATAN  LOVERS
LURED  TEENAGERS
3-D   PRINTERS
BESTIAL  BATTERERS
PRIVACY  HACKERS
CHILDHOOD  RAPERS
BANKRUPTCY  REPEATERS
HOSPITAL  INFECTORS
FACE  LIFTERS
WAR  REPEATERS
INFORMATION  OVERLOADERS
PUNISHING  VICTIMIZERS
ECCENTRIC  ENDURERS
EBOLA  BODY  DISPOSERS
ARMEGEDDON  BELIEVERS
GRASPING  COMPETITORS
ENTEROVIRUS  CARRIERS
FLICKER  RATERS
HOPE  CRUSHERS
PEACE  REFUSERS
HYSTERICAL   GRABBERS
DOUBTING  DOWNERS
BRAIN  PICKERS
COMPUTER  HACKERS
APNEA  SNORERS
NOSE  PICKERS
 
DURING THIS WORK IN PROGRESS, LIVING ART/DYING ART, I WILL OFFER ANGELIC FEATHER FLUFFINGS WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO COME FORWARD.

 
 
AFTER THE VIDEO AND DANCE:
 
FOR 42 YEARS I HAVE PERFORMED AND  TAUGHT HERE. THE SFAI IS TRULY ONE OF MY FAVORITE ART-HOMES.
I THANK TONY LABAT FOR FINDING ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND INVITING ME. ALWAYS THANKS TO SHARON, ALLAN AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES. THANKS TO ZENIA BARAKEH   FOR MAKING THE NUMEROUS DETAILED ARRANGEMENTS THAT IT TAKES TO INVITE SOMEONE TO COME TO THEIR ART-HOUSE.   THANK YOU KENT LONG FOR MAKING IT HAPPEN TECHNOLOGICALLY. THANKS TO THE HALLOWEENETTES. GRATITUDE TO DEAR FRIENDS MINNETTE LEHMANN AND ANNIE SPRINKLE WHO TOOK MANY OF THE PHOTOS  IN THE SECOND VIDEO. AND THANKS TO YOUR PRESIDENT, CHARLES DESMARAIS, FOR RE-ENVISIONING THIS GREAT INSTITUTE OF ART AND LIFE.
AND ALSO THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR FINDING A PARKING SPACE, LEAVING HOME EVENTHOUGH WENDY WILLIAMS WAS ASKING YOU FOR MORE  FACE TIME...GRATITUDE TO ALL OF US FOR CREATING A POP UP TRANSFORMING 2 HOUR COMMUNITY. FOR WHEN 2 OR 3 ARE GATHERED, GREAT THINGS ARE FELT AND HEALED.

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOU LOOK MARVELOUS FOR KENT LONG

FOR LINDA MARY MONTANO
OCT  31 SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE

 1. AS PEOPLE ENTER   WATER ANGELS TALKING CD,  SOFT VOLUME

 2. IF INTRODUCED(OVER ANGELS,) IMMEDIATELY GO TO DRONE AND  THE BOB DYLAN  TAPE. (YOU WILL HAVE DOWNLOADED THE  TAMBURA IN C  FROM YOU TUBE)...NO SOUND ON BOB DYLAN, ONLY DRONE AND MY VOICE.  MY VOICE IS REVERB AND MADE FABULOUS VIA YOUR TECHNOLOGY AND KINDNESS

 3. WHEN BOB DYLAN FINISHES, PUT ON YOU TUBE(I WILL BRING COPIES AS WELL) OF NURSE NURSE......IF I AM STILL SINGING, LEAVE  TAMBURA ON LOWER AND MY SINGING AS WELL AND IT CAN PLAY OVER NURSE NURSE....

 4. ALL OF NUMBER  3 IS  IMPROVISATIONAL, I MAY FINISH MY  "SINGING" BEFORE BOB DYLAN TAPE FINISHES AND THEN I WILL SAY TO YOU, "KENT  CAN  WE SEE NURSE NURSE?"

5. AFTER NURSE NURSE, PUT ON  LIVING ART DYING ART 6 AT END OF THIS TAPE  IMMEDIATELY COME UP WITH  ADDICTED TO LOVE
AFTER  ADDICETED TO LOVE( I MAY SAY, COULD YOU REPEAT ADDICTED TO LOVE, MIGHT NOT,  PUT ON  TAMBURA

SHORT RESUME

Linda Mary Montano (b. 1942), in a career spanning over fifty years as a performance artist, has created works in a variety of forms that explore the possibility of eliminating the distinction between art and life by creating videos, books, objects from past performances, live performances, workshops/teaching and spiritually deep ways of bringing sacred truths to her own daily life and the lives of others. Montano who was born during WW2 considers herself a child of the depression so ecology, recycling, living simply and conserving have always been her strengths.
 

UPSTATE DIARY

Upstate Diary
LINDA MARY MONTANO, PERFORMANCE ARTIST  

8.29.14 Saugerties, NY

Montano’s work from the '70s and early '80s was critical in the development of video by, for, and about women. She is a seminal figure in contemporary feminist performance art with a wicked, sardonic sense of humor. Montano consistently redefines boundaries through her art while continuously striving for nothingness.



UD Your home here in Saugerties, NY is a magical and special place. Thank you for having me. I have looked at your website, blog and videos and there was something you would say in one of your performances, “Take my word with a grain of salt.” What was the significance of that phrase?

LMM  I was setting myself up as a guru, a knower of someone else’s mind, body, or soul during the Seven Years of Living Art project. This is a performance where I sat in a window installation for seven full years at the New Museum in New York City. So before I would read their palms, do Tarot or give my “psychic” impressions, I would shake some salt in their hand from the salt shaker that I had on the table. Why? To give them back their power so that they didn’t think I knew everything. Of course, I THINK I do know everything but what had happened is, as a child I went to confession a lot, and I gave my sins to the priest. And I think I needed to heal that relationship, of giving myself over to that man in a dark confessional cubicle. And by becoming an art life counselor, I took back my power, I took back that authority, and I gave myself permission to know, permission to give my thoughts, permission to teach and instruct. Art for me is about healing the past, present, and future. And Seven Years of Living Art was a great transformer for me.

Wardrobe from Seven years of Living Art and Montano as Bob Dylan

UD  I read in your writings that your responses were creative responses. What would a creative response be?

LMM  I don’t remember any specifics because it was ’84 to ’91. But I imagine that I would say, “If you’re angry, write down your angers on a piece of paper and then rip them up. Or make a cookie out of them or burn the papers or put them in a recipe and eat them.” I would do something performative; ask them to perform an action that brought their issue from their left brain over to their right brain. Art-like actions and “rituals” can change stuck stuff lodged in the dungeon of the subconscious.



UD  The moral of your performances I feel is about confronting the ego. What is it about the ego that interests you?

LMM  I grew up in this house where we both are sitting right now, and as a child, I noticed that our family was basically able to communicate through our minds, not our words. I also grew up with one set of grandparents from a foreign country, who didn’t speak English and with the other grandmother who was a performance artist. I got to ask a question, “Who am I?” And when I started studying Hinduism, the ego became fluctuating jello instead of a solid entity. I was always trying to get out of my ego, and my own — quote — psychological self, and it was much more comfortable to be someone else. Just like an actor or actress. So in many of my performances I "became" other people. In the 70's, I sat in front of a video camera for a year and acted as if I were from 7 different countries, inhabiting seven different personas with seven different professions. Eventually, I began performing as real people: Mother Teresa, Bob Dylan and Paul McMahon. Doing this morphing has allowed me to get out of my own way, and then re-enter and become more comfortable in my own skin. I have found that as I practice being "real" people like Bob (Dylan) and Mother Teresa, it is helping me be more real!!!



UD  What’s the difference between a performance artist, like yourself — the kind of performance that you do and an actress?

 LMM  The performance artist is a complete entity in and of itself, outside of the limitations of degrees or training or expertise. When I began, a performance artist was someone who had permission to explore dreams, fantasies, nightmares, traumas, illness, food, nothing from the culture or everything from the culture and realigning it in a way that was completely self-referential, self-pleasing, and self-healing. Actors (female and male) get out of their skin for the sake of the director.

UD  Is that similar to method acting?

LMM  Yeah. But we don’t feel comfortable being tagged as actors — although there are some performance artists who have skills that are professionally applauded as “actors”. They have crossed over. But the old timers felt extremely comfortable not knowing anything and not being able to do anything, but to go into the liminal world of dream, imagination, and luminosity.

Montano's  "Chicken" floor

UD  Can you share something about your participation in Tehching Hsieh’s performance piece, Art/Life: One-Year Performance where you were tied together with an 8 foot rope for a year in his performance?

LMM  There is a great book written about his work titled Out of Now: The Lifework of Tehching Hsieh. It is a very beautiful book which contains documentation of all of his One-Year-Performances and has the 365 photos we took of the year-long performance. It was an honor for me to collaborate with him.

UD  What’s your creative process like?

LMM  I work extremely autobiographically. If I have something wrong with me, I make a video or a performance. If I have something right with me, I make a video or a performance or write a book. Need completely drives me. I read about the neuro-plasticity of the brain and the research being done on creativity and meditation and the ability for a creative mind to fix things. I am fascinated with the miraculous powers of the brain and art to heal, to mend the broken. My art also celebrates the ecstatic. My process is to work. Art is my job, and it’s also how I make a living.

Mitchell’s Death,  1978. Documentation of Montano’s experience related to the death of her ex-husband, Mitchell Payne.

 UD  What is it about humor that you find useful in your work?

LMM  I think it’s because my mother was half Irish that’s why I tend to pull in the sardonic take on life/art. And my maternal grandmother was also radically ironic and Zen-like in her humor. She would take her teeth out and sing for me and draw cartoon characters. Her performances were my medicine. Humor became my medicine. I can thank my mother and grandmother for this.


 UD  You have a strong bond to your family. What do you think that comes from?

LMM  I live as a single person, so I am able to do very intense research by looking at and healing family stories, issues and memories. That gives me a chance to clean up anything from my past that would be a hindrance to my enlightenment. How lucky is that! I do this by going into the attic of my mind, into the cellar of my feelings, and clean every single surface. It’s a soul cleaning, and it’s preparation for me to do the work of living. I really want to learn how to be a clear-human, and to live in gratitude to my family for the gifts they gave me.

Montanos family home in Saugerties, NY

UD  You were raised in a strict Catholic home, and you became a devoted Buddhist practitioner. Later you returned to your roots in the Catholic Church. What kind of Catholic are you today? How did practicing another religion change you, or did it change you as a Catholic?

LMM  Yeah, I’m happy to be back as a thinking Catholic, as an open door Catholic, as a feminist Catholic, as a woman priest Catholic, as a questioning of the hierarchy Catholic, as a supporter of women priests Catholic, as a Catholic who likes Dietrich Bonhoeffer and feminist theologians. I raise my glass to anyone who thinks or writes or questions and still goes to Holy Communion and Confession and participates in Eucharistic adoration but is still totally liberal and radical. I’m aspiring to be that kind of smart but totally contemplative Catholic.

UD  What kind of influence has Upstate had on you as an artist?

LMM  I did a video a long time ago, 20 years ago called, Always Creative. It was about these outrageous elders in their ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s who lived Upstate in the Hudson Valley. Now I’ve come back to living here again and hopefully I have some of their juice, some of their permission, some of their creativity, some of their outrageous ability to be themselves and take their teeth out AND SING!



UD  Seven Years of Living Art focused on Art as a vehicle for meditation. In addition to setting you up to be a Guru, what other manifestations did the performance entail?

LMM  I was living in the Zen Mountain Monastery before I joined Tehching Hsieh in his rope performance, so I wanted to continue to lead my life mindfully and fully and meditatively. I wouldn't say that I became a Guru....although I did appreciate that title, but I did perform awareness exercises to help me pay attention, wake up and stay focused in the here and now. For example, I wore one color of clothes each year, (all red for year one, all orange for year two). I listened to one drone tone for a certain number of hours a day and stayed silent in a colored space for a certain number of hours a day. I painted the room the color of the clothes I wore for each year. So actually, meditation was the penultimate reason for the performance and the exercises, an aid to the practice of meditation. Then I liked it so much that I continued another seven years, and it became 14 Years of Living Art.

UD  What lies ahead for Linda Montano?

LMM  I have made an ART BUCKET LIST. I am vowing not to do any more than what I write on my list because I have the kind of nature that can frantically CREATE!!! And not enjoy the peace of nothing. I am verging toward nothing.

QUESTIONS FOR GRAD STUDENTS AT SFAI

TO PREPARE FOR MEETING OCT  31  2014 WITH LINDA MARY MONTANO
 
1. IF U WISH WEAR ALL ONE COLOR CLOTHES OR AT  LEAST ONE PIECE OF CLOTHING THAT IS ONE COLOR...TO SIGNAL TO THE GLANDS THAT YOU LIKE THEM..THE COLOR IS  ONE FOUND IN THE RAINBOW.
 
2. PREPARE A HAND WRITTEN OR PRINTED OUT AUTOBIOGRAPHY LISTING 3 GREAT THINGS FROM YOUR LIFE AND 3 CHALLENGES......(OR MORE OF EACH) ....ALSO  SENTENCES ABT  PARENTS AND SIBLINGS.  THIS TAKES 7 MINUTES TO READ TO ME...
 
3. ASK AND WRITE: HOW DOES THE STORY OF MY LIFE EFFECT. AFFECT. INFLUENCE, SHOW UP IN MY WORK?
 
4.TELL ME THE ANSWER TO THIS:   MY QUESTION THAT I AM SEEKING TO ANSWER AND EXPLORE IN MY ART PRACTICE  IS...........
 
5. MY ART AND LIFE "INTERSECT"  BY.......................................................
 
 6. I USUALLY LAY DOWN ON THE FLOOR ...IS THERE A BLANKET OR SOMETHING LAY DOWNABLE?
 
THANKS YOU AND SEE YOU SOON
LINDA MARY MONTANO

MONTANO WITH MINNETTE BY HUI MENG WANG

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PHOTO FROM YOU LOOK MARVELOUS BY EMILY LANDRY ( WITH MOIRA ROTH AND 2 OTHERS)

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YOU LOOK MARVELOUS, AGING AND DEATH

You Look Marvelous!!! The Performance of Aging and DeathLinda Mary Montano is a performance artist whose raffish practices include endurance; blurring the edge between art and life; witnessing the inherent humor of the human situation; death; recognizing the autobiographical need to fix life through art; the aging body; changing the mind; and using Catholic imagery to speak to the mystery of the everyday.
In 1976, Montano began videotaping herself as seven different mythical personas, and in the last seven years, Montano has acted as doppelgänger to real, living beings, including Mother Teresa, Bob Dylan, and Woodstock rock ’n’ roll artist, Paul McMahon. These transformations have allowed her to question the uncertainty of the human ego and the flexibility of shape shifting.
Montano's newest book You Too Are A Performance Artist: Art in Everyday Life was published by SITE Santa Fe in conjunction with her 2013 retrospective Always Creative. Montano has taught performance art internationally and has written four other books on the subject. She views the seven years she spent taking care of her father as her REAL ART.

TAMARA FAWLEY IMAGE FROM VORTEX: 7 HOUR PERFORMANCE SINGING THE PSALMS

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MOTHER MARY MONTANO:BY ANDY CAMPBELL FRIDAY OCT 3, 2014

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    Mother Mary Montano

    The influential performance artist and onetime teacher at UT revisits Austin in the guise of a saint

    By Andy Campbell, Fri., Oct. 3, 2014

    Linda Mary Montano as Mother Teresa in New York City, Aug. 25, 2010
    Linda Mary Montano as Mother Teresa in New York City, Aug. 25, 2010
    Courtesy of Linda Mary Montano
    Dressed in sunglasses and a nun's habit, performance artist Linda Mary Montano says rosary in front of a brilliant blue background: "Good afternoon, future catechism teachers of America," she begins, speaking directly to the camera, "My name is Sister Rose Augustine, and I'm a missionary sister just back from the Belgian Congo." Part of Montano's 1978 video omnibus of personae titled Learning to Talk, Montano-as-Sister-Rose then proceeds to pick up a giant pad of paper and, armed with a squeaky black marker, lectures on sin; the difference between mortal and venial sin, kinds of sexual sins, and a concluding diagram of two circles, one light and one dark, representing the soul in grace and the soul in sin.
    Frightening and funny, Sister Rose Augustine is a nudge-nudge, wink-wink commentary on Catholicism and its earthly agents, both telegraphing and skewering Montano's childhood in the Catholic church and as a young novitiate with the Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining, N.Y. After exiting the novitiate and completing graduate school, Montano began developing an array of personae and experimenting with long-durational performance. She spent three days handcuffed to artist Tom Marioni in 1973 (Handcuff), and, 10 years later, would spend an entire year tied, via an 8-foot rope, to fellow performance artist Tehching Hsieh (Art/Life One Year Performance). Drawing on her experience as a novitiate, these performances tested Montano's body and mental resolve. The collaboration with Hsieh proved significant; soon after she and Hsieh were "untied," Montano embarked upon a seven-year performance piece titled Seven Years of Living Art, wherein she explored one of the seven chakras each year by dressing in the corresponding chakra's color, living in a colored space, and listening to a single tone. Montano would also appear monthly at the New Museum in New York to offer life/art counseling in a specially designed chakra storefront window.
    In 1991, at the end of Seven Years of Living Art, Montano was offered a job as an assistant professor of art at the University of Texas at Austin. As Rachel Martin, performance artist and assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts, remembers, when Montano interviewed for the job, "it was like Keith Richards coming to town." While in residence at UT, Montano distinguished herself through her collaborations and close relationships with students and colleagues. "She taught performance art, but she also taught 3-D foundations, one of the core components of our curriculum," Martin says. "I give her kudos for teaching generations of art students to think more conceptually about making."
    While at UT, Montano exhibited and performed nationally and internationally. She extended her Seven Years of Living Art for another seven years, becoming 14 Years of Living Art – which lasted throughout her time in Austin. "I was addicted to money," says Montano plainly, "addicted to being important. It was during my time at the University of Texas that I began to attend church again, because I needed grounding. You can't be there for students and not have something for yourself."
    A spiritual polyglot, Montano travelled to Houston weekly to study Jainism with A.I. and Aruna Mehta, in addition to her ongoing practices of Buddhism and Catholicism. She fostered close collaborations with artist/musician Ellen Fullman and composer/accordionist Pauline Oliveros, all of which are well-documented in her archives, which were acquired last year by New York University's Fales Library – host to an array of "downtown" New York artists' materials.
    Artist Andy Coolquitt, who was a graduate teaching assistant for Montano during her UT years, remembers Montano's performance classes as "pretty much a group therapy session; they didn't seem to have anything to do with art. Meditation and sharing were key components, yet Linda believed everyone always had something to offer. Linda used to say, 'Just switch it around in the mind, that's all you have to do.' In that way, she was key in the development of my work."
    The opportunity for Montano to "switch it around in the mind" presented itself when she was denied tenure at UT in 1998 and subsequently returned to Kingston, N.Y., to take care of her ailing father, a period of time she refers to as Dad Art. In her final lecture/performance at the University of Texas, Montano riffed on the concept of endurance – closely tied to her body of work, her own upbringing ("My parents were from the Depression era, so I'm a hard worker."), and now a self-directed invective for life after academia:
    "Let's now look at some universal reasons why we all endure. Endurance is built into our system because under this skin is a galaxy of networks, a mysterious world of muscles, bones, veins, and organs which endure our turbulent emotional states, endure our tortured thoughts, endure our various and punitive diets, endure the torture of climate changes and home-uprootings, endure our lovelessness, endure our fertile negative imaginings and paranoias, endure our tortured memories and traumatic secrets, endure our disrespect for authorities and bitterness toward everyone's good intention. See your body in great detail. Clear it of all past endurances that hurt."
    After the death of her father, Montano stayed on in her childhood town, going to church as she had done when she was young. After years of exploring and grounding her own spiritual practice, Montano shifted her performance toward inhabiting real people: Bob Dylan (first performed at Austin's 1992 Pride Festival), Jill Johnston, Paul McMahon, and Mother Teresa.
    "Inhabiting real people is a way to get used to the idea of not being anymore," says Montano, referring to the most permanent state of non-being: death, "And it's also about receiving as Bob Dylan or Mother Teresa. I get to respond in a way that Linda would never respond to the world. I began to perform as Mother Teresa because one day, doubled over from dystonia [a neurological condition in the Parkinson's family], all crippled, small, and half my size, a little voice in my head said, 'You look just like Mother Teresa.'"
    After receiving permission from Mother Teresa's order, Montano began to bless and perform as the beatified nun. Indeed, she will perform as Mother Teresa for three seven-hour performances at the Vortex next week. Audiences are encouraged to stay for the entire time, but are welcome to come and go from the theatre as they wish. As in past performances, during her run at the Vortex, Montano-as-Mother-Teresa will be accompanied by "handlers" dressed like the backup dancers/musicians from Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" music video. The handlers provide protection and care for Mother Teresa, Montano notes, of "the kind I will someday need as I age." Montano also promises a special video "honoring the legacy of feminist Catholic theologians."
    For many, Montano's return to Austin is a welcome surprise. Rachel Martin recalls having a conversation with Montano after she was denied tenure, asking the artist when she would likely return to Austin, "'Not for a very long time,' was the response, so I'm delighted she's coming back. She's obviously ready." Coolquitt sums up Montano's legacy as a "total courage to listen to your life, look into the world. Continue to be, continue to change. Letting life flow over you."
    Montano's Vortex performances will signal her longest engagement with being Mother Teresa to date, and as she notes, "I go to bed at 7pm usually, so when the clock strikes midnight, I will be delirious. Expect miracles!"

    Linda Mary Montano as Mother Teresa will be performed Oct. 8-10, 5pm-12mid, at the Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd. Montano will also conduct a workshop, Laugh Your Chakras Awake, Saturday, Oct. 11, 11am-2pm. For more information, visit www.vortexrep.org.

    AN EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN MOIRA ROTH AND LINDA MARY MONTANO

    AN EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN LINDA MARY MONTANO AND MOIRA ROTH, November  2014
     
    Linda Mary Montano, October 31, 2014, San Francisco Art Institute, Graduate Lecture Series: “You Look Marvelous!!! The Performance of Aging and Death.”
     
    *MR, November 1, 2014
     
    The performance-films event at the SF Art Institute yesterday was truly magnificent, deeply moving and deeply interesting.
     
    I have a suggestion -- before its details fade in memory -- would you like to do an email exchange about it. Then perhaps I could edit this a little, and you might like to put it up on your webpage?
     
     
    *LM, November 2, 2014, 6:57 A.M.
     
    Abbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbsolutely Let’s do it. Sooooooooooooooo gld u came.
    Means soooooooo much to me
     
     
    *MR, November 2, 2014, 7:03 A.M.
     
    Let's begin now!
     
     
    *LM, November 2, 2014, 7:15 A.M.:
     
    Got to go off to CHURCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WILL GET TO IT ASAP!
     
     
    *MR, November 2, 2014, 7:34 A.M.
    #1: Can you sketch out, please, how you planned the event (what shall we call it--the performance?) at the SF Art Institute on Friday.
     
     #2: How much was planned, and how much improvised?
     
    #3: Have you done such presentations before? And if so:
    1. how?
     
    2. when?
     
    3. where?
     
     
     
    *LM, November 2, 2014, 1:09 P.M.
     
    #1:
    I was invited to come to the San Francisco Art Institute and present my work.
     
    They choose it to happen on Halloween and that really set the stage for performatively presenting of my two latest videos on aging and death. It was a win-win. Could not have been clearer. So I planned it for months and months, spending inordinate hours with my editor, Tobe Carey, continuing to prepare the video so it would be ready by October 31.
     
    And then something cosmically dangerous happened to everyone's mind! EBOLA!  
     
    And as a result, my entire self-absorbed look at death as it relates to my work got deflated and I felt as if my narcissistic focus on death/aging was totally irrelevant and outdated. That is, what is MY AGING/MY DEATH in the face of a catastrophic epidemic?
     
    To amend and confess that I was an insignificant "one" among many and that my fears and neurosis were nothing in the face of what is happening now, I made a list of THINGS THAT ARE HORRIFYING HORRORS and chanted that list of horrors as the Bob Dylan tape and Nurse Nurse films were showing. You see, the text for the Living Art/Dying Art film was written in the 1990's and I collaged into the mix, current disastrous phenomena so that my information would be about now and we could collectively clear out the trauma receptacles of our prehensile brains. Now the performance was no longer about me but about a group's aesthetic colonoscopy and subsequent release!
     
    #2:
    I had envisioned most of it before the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) event, but the movements of the angel-figure around the stage were energy driven and not choreographed.
     
     
    #3:
    A few weeks before this performance, I was in Austin at Bonnie Cullum's Vortex Theatre, performing Singing the Psalms as Mother Theresa, a 3-day, and 7-hour-a-day performance.  And because I am still resonating in the flow of sound, it was only natural that I would continue chanting at the SFAI. Chanting was also used as the sound-foundation for one of my earliest films, Mitchell's Death.
     
    Chanting then was about mourning and coloring the mourning with a deep beauty. 
     
    Chanting now is about lifting current collective pain into another realm, real silence. And I never ever make viewers feel glued to their seats when I show videos. I offer ART/LIFE COUNSELING or food or something so they feel at home and free to come and go and be themselves.
     
    Probably the most well designed collaged event which uses time-sound-space-movement-dissociative actions is the performance I do for my father titled Dad Art.
     
    Dad Art films our video collaboration and then his sickness, the caregiving and his death/funeral.  It is so intense that it demands many stages or loci or distractions from the pain of it. I sing seven of my Dad's favorite songs from the 1930's in this performance but now, I think I will not speak again if I am to lecture about my work.... I will chant instead (as I did at SFAI) because the ferocity of violence in the air deserves the abrasive cutting off right brain-sounded chanting, just like the intensity of my Dad's death caused me to sing!
     
     
    *MR, NOVEMBER 2, 2014, 1:56 P.M.
     
    More questions!
     
    #4: Could you tell me more about Singing the Psalms as Mother Theresa, and generally about your use of singing and chanting in your performances.
     
    #5: About Dad Art. Is there a video of you singing your Dad's favorite songs?
     
    #6: Is there any chance I could see the videos you showed on Friday, beginning with the one with angels?
     
     
    *LM, NOVEMBER 4, 2014:
     
    #4:
    On the day that John Lennon was killed, I performed my first scissors lift event at Banff in Canada. The Performance artist Angelica Festa stood in the lift and John's song, “Imagine,” played. It felt like a memorial service. I don't remember what I was doing. I only remember the lift, song, and Angelica and John.
     
    In Austin in the 1990's, I emerged from a 3-day art-jail time, having been locked in a gallery bathroom and, as I left this "performance space", I went outside the gallery, ascended into a 14-foot lift and sang. What? I don't remember.
     
    A 2013 retrospective of my 14 Years Of Living Art at SITE Santa Fe included two lift performances outside the building, at the front entrance. At the opening of the show, I sang along with Linda Ronstadt CD's for seven hours. Each hour I "descended" a bit until I was at ground level on the seventh hour. And at the closing, I sang for seven hours, along with my Indian music teacher, Raka Mukerjee's CD. I "descended" every hour.
     
    It was a way for me to honor my mentors and teachers, borrowing their brilliance, the way I have been dopplegangering/borrowing from Mother Teresa, Bob Dylan and Paul McMahon's presences in my performances as them.
     
    I see these song-presence performances as rehearsals for me to practice being MYSELF, as ways to "rehearse" being both theologically not me in the spiritual world and yes-me in the world as it is. That is, it is so fabulous "being" Bob Dylan and singing like Raka Mukerje. Hey, maybe I don't ever have to be me.
     
    In 2014, I performed a three-day, seven-hour-a-day lift performance at the Vortex Theatre in Austin, dressed as Mother Theresa, chanting from the Book of Psalms and also ranting-singing about current hysteria, trauma, politics and the climate of the chaos of now.
     
    If you go to Facebook and scan my private page, you can see images of this performance and if that doesn't work, go to YouTube where eventually the documentation will be there for free!!!! 
     
    Free because after Occupy Wall Street's insistence on compassion being the “best currency,” and after I decided that I didn't want to be edited/turned down by distributors of my work, I made almost allllllllllllll of my videos FREE on FACEBOOK, all of my writings FREE on my website and blog and all of my ARCHIVE is FREE where it lives, RIP, resting at Fales Library, NYU, open for all to pursue. And by the way, if you look closely at the papers in the archive, you might find some back-stories!
     
    What abut the lift, I ask?
     
    My training as a Catholic prepared me to "look up." That is, the mystery of THE ASCENSION, the mystery of Jesus appearing on Mt. Tabor, the placement of the statues in niches above eye level were all part of my Church-culture, so I borrowed the way, borrowed the practice of looking up which is actually a nerobiologically important way to play with consciousness -- that is, when we look up, our eyes activate the neurology of both the pineal and pituitary glands.
     
    Also, I am not adverse to being above the crowd for performative and ambitious/personal/social anxiety reasons!
     
    #5:  
    When I left the University of Texas, Austin, I came to upstate New York and began a collaboration with my father who was in his late 1980’s. We videotaped our lunches and TV-watching and after a tragic mistake-accident caused by a very, very careless therapist at his physical therapy, he developed a debilitating stroke, which left him partially paralyzed, and in need of 24-7 care.
     
    I hid behind my video camera as his caregiver plus "manager" and on site 24-7 daughter because the intensity of his illness was too much for me to view.  But my Dad became this incredibly silent and divine presence...maybe he was in an altered yogic state of right brain bliss (see Jill Bolte Taylor) because he emanated a literal "light" on all who saw him/witnessed him.
     
    I truly feel he was in a life-death state of PRESENCE because friends would visit and shudder or cry when they were with him. The atmosphere was quite "performance-like" in the house because of his vibrational frequency but also because his Catholic TV station played/messaged all day and the house became a Church!
     
    One day, a caregiver brought paints (thank you, Maggie) and after that, he sat in a painting trance for over an hour every day and, in total slow motion, made incredibly moving watercolors. Nothing I have ever experienced has touched the power or the beauty or the depth of this experience of being with my friend, my father.
     
    Soon after his death, I made the video Dad Art as a way to mourn. Then I showed it to a small group of friends, but I've only twice shown it publically since then because it is NOT ART BUT LIFE and it is very delicate and fragile and needs certain atmospheres and intentions in order to be shared properly.
     
    I now have been working for three years with a pianist, David Arner. We meet very often and I sing the seven Dad-Mom songs. It is an incredibly beautiful experience. My Mom sang in Dad's band and I'm sure she sang all of the 1930's songs that I sing now.
     
    I keep telling David, "I don't want to ever perform what we are doing. It is too beautiful." Recently he said," It will be even more beautiful when we perform it." So David's encouragement has given me permission to Sing My Parents Songs, a seven- song event, only if I can be dressed as Paul McMahon. So I am being me, as Paul but singing as me. Singing is love.
     
    #6:
    As I mentioned already, almost all of my videos are now free, on you tube. In the near future Living Art/Dying Art -- my thoughts on death --will be there as well.  Art has been generous to me. The least I can do is to give it back free.