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Thursday, December 24, 2015

INTERVIEW FOR SEXOCOLOGY ANNIE AND BETH


LINK to whole interview

Some segments of interview
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: 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.
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: 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: 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.


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.

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