MEET ME AT THE MET; MONTANO
MEET ME AT THE MET – A not-Performance
It's over. Seven months, seven visits to NYC to meet at the Met non-performatively.
The Met is filled with treasures and icons and found beauty and forced from other cultures treasures and the history of the known universes tools and masks and ritual richness. The concept is: Performance is over and porned out and finished and tired and irrelevant and un-necessary. There is no future in it and the only way to go is backwards. The Met is retro-ically relevant and fresh and new and brilliant and tremendous in its anonymous wonders. That's the ticket, the Met is anonymous, and everyone who made anything that is now in the Met is dead (not really), and the artists from thousands of years ago who did make things that are in the Met didn't want to be extraordinary or famous but made healing objects and paintings and sculptures and doorposts and lintels and jewelry for the sake of beauty, for the sake of making, for the sake of transforming self and community. The Met is about the other, about the tribe and about art for the people. I needed to go there and learn from the Met.
MEET ME AT THE MET:
became an opportunity, not a performance. An opportunity to come together in secret, to hide in the overflow ordinariness of THE THRONGS OF PEOPLE, an opportunity to NOT PERFORM although it is akin to asking a General surgeon to meet in an emergency room on a busy Saturday night and tell the surgeon, "Don't lift a scalpel!" For when you gather creative artists and friends in the name of no-performance, although the glee of not having to do anything but exhibit co-facetime is freeing, we DID show our happy joy to each other. And I must admit that we PLAYED a bit, roamed around the room assigned for that day, found our FAVORITE thing there, gathered the group around us and as I stated earlier, we, in sotto voce, non-performatively/fictictionally, told why WE made or curated our favorite object, painting or sculpture and in talking in Haiku-fashion about that painting or sculpture or ritual cup, we brought not only each other alive with our fantasy stories but gave the art in the Met, a new context and new reason to be seen. It was innocent and fun. No money or ARTFORUM review necessary.
Seven times we did this, meeting in the red room for January, that is, the one that is colored red on the Met Map ( Asian Art); and we met in the orange room in February ( Egyptian Art) and so on. Friends and new friends came and we sometimes exchanged phone numbers of our doctors/ comforted the new widow/ prayed as a healing team for successful eye surgery for another. It was not performance but covert life, meeting underground and incognito. Without applause.
I wont miss that bus ride.
But I will miss the woman at Gate 34, the Island woman who works at POA, and is always there on Sundays, blessing all with her beauty/concern/availability.
I will miss walking the 40 blocks to 81 Street, through Central Park.
I will miss smelling horses.
I will miss face and fun time and no muss, non-durated for 2 hours time with friends.
I will miss the easy endurance of this not-performance.
There might be another 7 years of something.
I don't know until I know.
But I do know that the inner Met-show will go on.
Do you miss me?
LINDA MARY MONTANO,
Artist Teacher, Saugerties NY, 2016