I IMAGINE I AM A WOMAN INTERVIEWING MYSELF AS A WOMAN :
WOMAN:I'm so happy to meet you , Linda, you have been an inspiration to me for so many years. Are you ready to talk? If so, I wonder who first inspired you to be an artist?
LINDA M MONTANO: My mother's mother was incredibly focused in a folk-art way and made art 24-7. Watching her create, in silence, was like living in an altered dream state. She made quilts and dolls and scrapbooks and miniature furniture and gourmet dishes from roadkill. At holidays she took out her teeth and sang, "If I had the Wings of an Angel." Her daughter, my mother,was as equally creative, spontaneous, and ironical as was her mother. Their art was my ancestry. My dad's family was proverbial Italian and didnt speak much english. But their depth of Catholic ritual and love of music and isolation form the american community formed me equally. Isn't that mix a wonderfull receipe for performance art?
Q:Are you glad that you went to school for art?
LMM:The art that I pursue I invented along the way and it was more of a reaction to the academy and rebelling against history of art.
Q: Did the fact that you lived in San Francisco and Southern California in the 70's shape your feminist perspective?
LMM: By osmosis I knew about all of that. But I missed out of the groUp processing of the LA Womanhouse scene which eventuated in group shows and group healings. Instead I was part of Pauline Oliveros' group at the Center For Music Experiment at UCSD but when I did interact with the LA women,I was elated by their support of my autobiographical focus. It was as if we were all one organism at that time.
Q: Do you find autobiography to be purgative?
LMM:Think about the centuries of silencing of women, the inferiorization of women, the disenfranchizement of women, the subjecting to second class status of women! We took all of that tied up energy and made it public and celebrated our mutual release as art. The liberation of the felmale soul via performance art.
Q: Fabulous! That is the highest art, freedom. Your answers have silenced my questions. Until we meet again, good luck and good art.
LMM: Thanks and my best to you also.