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Wednesday, June 22, 2016


The following morning the festival opened on a more serious note, with Mother Superior Linda Mary Montano conducting Art/Life Counseling (your choice). Garbed entirely in orange clothing, Montano counseled festival goers for approximately eight hours in the garage behind the gallery. Montano, a pioneer of conceptual feminist performance art in the U.S., has been concerned with the relationship between art, life, spirituality and consciousness since she first had her MFA show at University of Wisconsin and replaced the conceptual Minimalist grids that were being used by the men in her program with a grid of live chickens. Prior to becoming an artist, Montano was a nun for two years. Much of her career has been devoted to studying and articulating the relationship between different forms and expressions of spirituality, corporeal asceticism, and the messy interstices where the body refused to behave. Montano has collaborated with artists as diverse as Tehching Hsieh, an artist known for his extreme acts of radical endurance to Annie Sprinkle, the artist most celebrated for embracing radical sexual diversity, corporeal pleasure and a truly transgendered approach to art making and performance. Montano first did Art/Life Counseling as part of her durational performance 7 Years of Living Art. For that performance Montano wore the same color, meditated to the same sound every night, and called upon a different spiritual guide each year. For a time she also spoke in an accent, although she dropped that after about two years.  7 is a magical number--there are 7 chakras and 7 sacraments. The number 7 also figures prominently in many fairytales--7 doors, 7 obstacles. For her performance at Rapid Pulse, Montano reprised some of that earlier performance (which eventually turned into 14 Years of Living Art). The second chakra, Orange is the color of security.  Montano's guide for the orange year was Teresa of Avila, the Spanish saint and mystic. It was fitting that Montano, as the Mother Superior of this festival, reinvoked St. Teresa through her clothing and her actions. The festival will conclude on Sunday night with a Sleepathon: An Overnight Glandathon experience at DFB.

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