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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FREEMAN ARTICLE-BOB DYLAN, ON 14 FOOT LIFT

Linda Mary Montano to lip-sync Bob Dylan’s songs for 7 hours on a 14-foot lift in Woodstock

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In honor of Bob Dylan’s 73rd birthday, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild will host a performance by artist Linda Mary Montano on Saturday, May 24.

Montano will lip-sync to Dylan’s songs for seven hours, positioned on a 14-foot lift stationed outside of the entrance to Byrdcliffe’s Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 34 Tinker St.

Since the 1960s, Montano’s career has addressed questions of time, the deeply personal and the life-affirming, with underlying currents in theology and feminism. She performs rites of emotional passage, mirroring life experiences, and experiments with making the interior exterior — or the private public.

Starting her career as a sculptor, Montano’s performance practice began in 1975 with a technique she refers to as “creative schizophrenia.” She “began morphing into 7 different imaginative people,” she said in a recent interview. “I sat in front of a video camera for a year, talking in different accents as these people. The 7 people were all survivors in their own given professions and fields.”

Montano’s performances, sometimes called “endurances,” can last anywhere from three hours to 14 years. She is known for her sensory deprivation endurances of the 1970s. From 1983-1998, she wore clothing all of the same color for each individual year, corresponding to the Hindu map of the Chakras. The Dylan endurance stems from her realization that members of her family bear a striking resemblance to the singer. She began performing in the persona of Dylan in order to “be like my brothers, having always wanted to be a man as a child — knowing that they were always getting the better cultural deal.”

The mechanical lift that will be part of Montano’s performance is a tool she began using the day of John Lennon’s death; in 2013 she completed two different seven-hour singing endurances on a lift at SITE Santa Fe. Her interest in and/or performances of Dylan, Paul McMahon and other historical figures, including Mother Theresa, are intricately linked to her investigations of the blurred boundaries and interconnections between art and life — between being, having been and wanting to be—or not being anyone at all.

Organized by Alan Baer, Montano’s performance will also give visitors the opportunity to see the exhibition of international and contemporary artists, “BASH,” on its last day in the Kleinert/James. An additional art-related event, “details TK,” will take place in the gallery on May 26, when it will remain open to the public.

In the event of rain on May 24, Montano’s performance will take place May

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