LINDA MARY MONTANO’S EVENTS / PERFORMANCES / WORKSHOPS/ VIDEO
DAD ART: A DOCUMENTARY FILM AND PERFORMANCE
In 1998, I began spending time with my aging father and for the first four years became someone who shopped, helped with his checkbook, and drove him to church; but more importantly, I got to know this incredible man as a friend and not just a father. We began collaborating on a video, with Dad telling his friends how to wave to/talk to the camera, and this became a new way for us to communicate: making art but more importantly life together. In the fourth year everything changed as far as the collaboration went because he had a stroke. The video continued as a lifesaver for something and me that Dad either tolerated or was used to. The camera became not a tool for our communicating but a piece of equipment I could hide in back of to shield myself from the pain of Dad’s minute-by-minute decline. My terror and sadness would be masked.
During those 3 years when I took care of him 24-7 with many other caregivers, I had no thoughts of making a movie or art or a document: I just wanted to see the experience of Dad’s illness from behind the camera, not up close and personal. I could not stand seeing anything with my bare eyes. I taped when he was being fed, bathed, taken to the hospital, when he was dying, when he was dead before being taken to the morgue and the day he was buried. And like all of us, responding to the death of someone close, I resurrected the film as soon as he died, wanting to see my dad, more and more, wanting the video to bring him back to life. Dad died and a film was born.
The resulting film is really a performance of grief and hope. It is not a film separate from my presence but an experience which includes five or more volunteers from the place where it is shown who collaborate with me. I sing 7 songs while playing a piano; a master of ceremonies keeps the piece moving, one or two people give counseling; some give water to the audience; some meditate and one “secretary” collects letters to death form audience members who come ‘into’ the performance area and dictate their thoughts to the “secretary.” There is a processional ending and Q&A. I usually instruct the performers on email and phone and the “costume” is black clothes with an emphasis on totally fabulous hair and great shoes. The resulting collage of all of the components allows for an experience of shared communal grieving.
Time: 3 hours
Capacity for DVD Projection
Proscenium Stage when possible
Two Tables on State
Spot Lighting on approx 5 stations
A TERESA OF AVILA MARATHON
For years Teresa of Avila has been an important influence on my thinking. She is an incredibly forceful woman who was not only a mystic but also an administrator; I would declare her a performance artist. She is a mentor to me. In 1983, I performed my first Teresa of Avila performance in MT Tremper, NY where I lived in a Zen monastery, and during 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART, she became my guide for the second “Chakra”(1984/1992).
Since returning to the Catholic Church, I have re-contacted my love for her and have watched the Catholic TV channel’s version of her life, TERESA OF JESU, an 8-hour docu-drama from Spain that is totally incredible. I would like to perform A TERESA OF AVILA MARATHON. It includes the 8 hours of Spanish film, plus a video I made of my version of her story and then a lecture by both a woman and man theologian who would discuss her life and thinking. Hopefully there would be a Catholic priest present at this performance who would hear confessions and give spiritual counseling to individuals throughout the performance. This event could be an overnight event or a daylong performance. I am available for 8 hours of ART/LIFE COUNSELING throughout the experience. At this time, we are in need of very strong role models who have passed the test of endurance, commitment, and love of Truth. Her life would be a great teaching for all.
chairs and tables
In the 70’s I made videos of myself as many different personas as a way to address identity and the politics of the 70’s. (see LEARNING TO TALK, Video Data Bank.) In the 90’s I collaborated with Martha Wilson as Hillary Clinton to her Barbara Bush. Most recently, I have performed as Bob Dylan and Mother Teresa, as “endurance”. I play a film of Mother Teresa with a pre-recorded sound track and become her for three hours. A Catholic priest would be available for confession and counseling during the performance. I, as Mother Teresa, bless everyone there and the performance becomes a suspension of disbelief and chance to receive her teachings because I honestly look so much like her that people receive her blessing without regret. In this time of irony and scare and fear and craziness, WE ALL NEED ANOTHER MOTHER TERESA VISIT!!!! Q & A to follow the performance.
LINDA MARY MONTANO’S VIDEOS: OUT OF THE CLOSET
My video output has been vast and literally unseen. I make them and store them or they hide away at the Video Data Bank. This event would bring them out of the closet, to be seen in a way that would either be all at once or grouped according to themes/patterns of similarity (death, persona, Catholicism, art/life, autobiography, elders, and documentary). For each theme there would be a commentator-historian of the subject for a Q&A after the films of said theme. A priest would be present for Confessions.
THE CREATIVITY/ELDERS SHOW
Montano has interviewed many elders over 80 and included 12 interviews in her video; ALWAYS CREATIVE. This program also includes documents of Montano’s performances.
THE PERSONA/ART SHOW
During the 70’s Montano explored persona and made a video LEARNING TO TALK where she became seven different people. And then at menopause, she made 7 STAGES OF INTOXICATION where she became an alcoholic as seven different people to explore the concept of menopause. For the last ten years she has become living people: Hillary Clinton, Bob Dylan and most recently, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. For THE PERSONA/ART SHOW, Montano, a Returned Catholic, will host the evening as Mother Teresa or as Bob Dylan.
THE CATHOLIC/ART SHOW
Catholicism is Montano’s religion from childhood and she returned full time to Catholicism in the 90’s, making videos and performances influenced by this theological path. For this show, Montano will present FATHER LEBAR, CATHOLIC PRIEST/EXCORSIST; TERESA OF AVILA and will host the show as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. This show also includes performances.
THE INDIA/ART SHOW
Montano studied meditation with Dr. R.S. Mishra for over 20 years and was incredibly influenced by this theology. She will present TWO AYRUVEDIC PHYSICIANS; BENARES; SHARADA, WIFE OF RAMAKRISHNA; CHAKRAPHONICS and THE CHAKRA STORY. Montano will host this event as a Hindu woman classical music singer.
THE DEATH/ART SHOW
For this video presentation, Montano will show MITCHELL’S DEATH; BENARES; and DAD ART. She will give a lecture titled DEATH IN THE ART/LIFE OF LINDA MARY MONTANO as part of this program.
DVD Capacity (VHS possible also)
LECTURES ON THE LIFE/ART OF LINDA MARY MONTANO
My lectures are reflective of the cultural & political climate, my personal autobiographical narrative and the energy of the group present. I often perform a fair tale or persona and then introduce my website and perform it in collaboration with the audience. I refuse to see my work or myself as separate from the audience. They are always my collaborators.
DEATH: IN ART/LIFE, with LINDA MARY MONTANO
This lecture/workshop offers an opportunity for participants to become verbally / aesthetically / performatively / spiritually conversant with one of life’s taboo subjects: death. St Francis of Assisi called death “sister death” having drained the word of it’s sting. Hopefully our examinations/experiences will allow all of us to alleviate some unnecessary issues around the subject of death/dying.
Montano has explored the topic of death in many different media and venues. For example as video: MITCHELL’S DEATH. As lecture: DEATH IN THE ART/LIFE OF LINDA MARY MONTANO. As literature: Montano interviewed many performance artists about death/ritual in her book, PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80’S, UC Press. As literature in Montano’s book: LETTERS FROM LINDA M MONTANO, Routledge. As performance: DAD ART a film/performance documenting my father’s life, illness and death. As video: BENARES, a film documenting the burning ghats in India.
My belief is that seeing is healing and in this workshop we will sensitively expand our life/art vocabulary around the topics of grief / taboo / fear / illness / release / death as metaphor / spiritual aspects and other topics raised in the practice and process of group-think. Lectures by funeral directors, doctors may be included in the course/lecture.
After 40 years of teaching performance, I have developed reliable methods to elicit trust and performance courage. To feed the mind, we will look at and study the topic via video, lecture, and class presentations. The workshop will culminate with a public presentation of Montano’s film/performance, DAD ART. Members of the class will be invited to participate and collaborate with Montano during this performance and will receive a PERFORMANCE ART CERTIFICATE. When presented as a lecture, other performative practices will be considered.
Needed for class:
LINDA MARY MONTANO’S TERESA OF AVILA MARATHON: A COLLABORATIVE COLLABORATION
Teresa of Avila is one of the most important influences in my life and when I saw Catholic TV’s (EWTN’S) 8 hour documentary of her life, I was impressed with the brilliance of the story and the ability of the film to bring her almost back to life. I would like the audiences to have a chance to become acquainted with Saint Teresa and discover/rediscover for themselves, her now-relevant teachings at a time when we are all starved for spiritual direction. The lecture/symposium will offer performative and real-time events so everyone has a chance to participate in their own way.
1. For 8 hours, the film Teresa of Jesu, will play in a public theatre space. During the film, Linda Mary Montano will be in costume, “durating” as another Teresa, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She will offer ART/LIFE COUNSELING for those who attend the film.
2. After the film, Montano will premier her 35 minute film Teresa of Avila.
3. An invited guest will lecture on Teresa’s meditation teachings, including references to Teresa’s mystical instructions as revealed in her class, THE INTERIOR CASTLE.
4. Possibilities: (when in the context of a university) dance from Spanish Department; lectures on topics relevant to the symposium’s theme; foods from Teresa’s time offered by the anthropology department; marathon readings from THE INTERIOR CASTLE by students outside the site where film is showing; a Catholic priest hearing confessions during the film; nuns costumes from theatre department, worn by participants; and the opportunity for anyone interested to live as a nun for the day. This experience can be arranged for workshop or lecture venues.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE LECTURE/WORKSHOP
Montano will host a scholar from Mexico City who will lecture on the “Torma” of Guadalupe, the cloak that Juan Diego presented to the Bishop that contained a miraculous painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a proof of the miracle of the apparition of Mary. After the lecture, each participant will then perform their own interpretation of the way that miracles happen in their everyday lives.
WORKSHOP(S) WITH LINDA MARY MONTANO
For all. No experience necessary. I use my 40 years teaching experience, 40 years of performance experience and the feel of the group energy to cultivate an atmosphere that allows for creative fabulousness. I often have them bring costumes, wigs and come in a clothes-color of their choice to the workshop.
WORKSHOPS WITH PERFORMANCE ARTIST LINDA MARY MONTANO
Internationally acclaimed performance artist, Linda Mary Montano, often offers two-week workshops. Montano will show videos, will lecture on her 40-year career as a performance artist, and offers her unique teaching techniques with students and the community. Montano’s book, LETTERS FROM LINDA MARY MONTANO, (Routledge) will be used as a reference as well as her many videos. Montano has been performing her art/life internationally and has written books on the subject. She is included in major museum shows including the Guggenheim and has received NEA grants, many awards and is in museum collections. Montano trained as a sculptor and considers herself a LIVING SCULPTURE who performs LIVING ART. The workshops will eventuate in a group-public performance based on the communal research.
PERFORM YOUR ART/LIFE WORKSHOP
Montano has used her daily life as material for her art since 1969. She mentors others to do the same in an atmosphere of safe/accountable permission and creative insight. Food, intimacy, money, fame, pop culture, aging or death might become topics of research depending on the needs and interests of the participants. Theatre games, sound exercises, trust experiences are first experienced before anyone is asked to share their LIFE/ART performances. Critique is healing-oriented, never punitive or critical. Videos, writing and community outreach are tools used during the process. Montano has been trained in laughter with Steve Wilson (WORLD LAUGHTER TOUR) and includes humor in her art/life and teaching. Montano considers her life to be a work of art and her art to be a transformed reflection of her life. This workshop communicates this practice.
READ, PRAY, PERFORM
Montano will ask participants to bring a Bible to the workshop. We will find places in the New Testament that resonate with each participant’s art/life issue and then spend time in prayer. Time will be allotted for performing responses in a healing, prayerfull and positive manner.
From 1984-1991 Marcia Tucker gave me a 7-year installation-room at the New Museum where I performed an aspect of 7 YEARS OF LIVING ART: I appeared there, in the Wooster St window which they painted the color I wore that year, and once a month I came to the window from Kingston, NY (THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE), and I saw people for 7 hours a day where I offered palm readings, tarot and healings.
Since re-entering the Catholic church, I no longer use my gifts of being able to do all of the above, so now I offer prayer, laughter, generic ART/LIFE COUNSELING, and share my living “presence” with people on an individual basis. It is very effective and I have been doing a version of these one-on-one interactions for over 20 years as ART. The laughter is new and I find that it is very effective and allows for problems to be “seen” in an entirely different way because people become free of their old worries due to the technique that I use which has much to do with brain chemistry via sound and attitude and changing the way the brain holds onto issues. Laughter detangles problems. It is wonderful because I spend time with living, breathing, real people in real time, away from our three sources of light: our TV Screens – our Computer Screens – our Refrigerators. This performance insists that another LIGHT is that of self-to-self, eye-to-eye Presence.
May occur in public window space, Gallery, by SKYPE, over the phone, while living in an installation in a museum, or any other appropriate private space.
READING FROM PUBLICATIONS: LETTERS FROM LINDA MARY MONTANO (Routledge); PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80’S (UC Press); ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE (1980); unpublished plays, and manuscripts.
A RETROSPECTIVE OF THE ART/LIFE OF LINDA MARY MONTANO
This installation would include clothes worn by me during 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART; photos of performances; objects from past performances; documents from my archive; video installations. All will be seen in the context of a museum/gallery or at THE ART LIFE INSTITUTE in Kingston NY, the present site of my archive.
SINGING THE POEMS
Montano will sing 50 poems written in the last 50 years. The performance ends when the poems are sung and repeated so that the performance lasts for 3 or 7 hours, depending on the venue. Random video images will be projected during this experience.
SINGING THE FAIRY TALES
Montano will sing 32 fairy tales she has written over the last 40 years. The performance will last for 3 or 7 hours, depending on the venue. Random children’s cartoons will be projected during this experience.
SINGING THE ARCHIVE
Montano will sing the 69 pages of her archive and it will endure until the archive is completely read in full. Archivist Lydia Brawner will accompany this performance when she is available or perform SINGING THE ARCHIVE as a solo performance. Images of Montano’s archive will be projected during this experience.
SINGING THE UNSINGABLE
Montano will sing 19 short stories written in the 80’s that contain material that she now judges to be too explicit erotically to reveal in public. Montano will wear a gag on her mouth and read/hum the stories for 3 hours. Images of flowers will be projected during the experience.
Montano will go to a Catholic Pilgrimage site and say prayers at the site for those indicating their petitions. Montano has performed PRAYER/ART at Lourdes, Fatima, the Tomb of Teresa of Avila, Guadaloupe, St Ann’s Shrine, St Jospeh’s in Montreal, The Vatican, Church of St Francis of Assisi, Church of Catherine of Bologna, Padre Pio’s Tomb, the Eucharistic Miracle Shrines of Italy, St Michael’s Shrine, St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Shrine of Juan Diego, and many other sites. Montano will take others on this pilgrimage or can be sponsored to go alone and present prayers for patrons who support her pilgrimage.
Montano performs giving assignments. Each participant of the audience asks a question about how to face / handle / deal with an aspect of their LIFE/ART, and Montano gives them a public “assignment” which they complete at home and then email the results to Montano. Montano will email each participant who completes the assignment a PERFORMANCE ART CERTIFICATE at the conclusion of the event. What is most stressed is that performances are done in a spirit of SAFETY, ACCOUNTABILITY, and NON-VIOLNENCE. NOTHING PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY, ECONOMICALLY OR PSYCHOLOGICALLY DANGEROUS can be performed by the certificate holder to be.
Montano will work with technicians to fabricate a hologram of herself as an angel and will appear in seven different sites to be announced. Montano will also do this performance in a public performance space for seven hours and audio / spoken word / media will play information about St. Teresa of Avila during the holographic transmission.
PRAYER RETREAT PERFORMANCES
Montano will meet with participants interested in spending three hours in retreat at Catholic Churches in their vicinity. Places to be announced. Montano has been performing 3 HOUR PRAYER RETREATS since 2005.
A DAY WITH LINDA MARY MONTANO
Montano will share her ART/LIFE teachings with the participant for a day. Montano will make living arrangements according to the site. Email Montano at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
SKYPE WITH LINDA MARY MONTANO
Montano will visit individuals, performance spaces, academic sites for performances, classes, workshops, individual ART/LIFE COUNSELING. Email email@example.com to make arrangements.
Montano has a neurological condition, Dystonia, and will meet with other artists with compromised health issues and perform along with her Dystonia tape, which presents her receiving Botox injections in her neck. She will ask Leon Fleisher, who also has Dystonia, to perform with her.
Montano will perform continuous laughter for 7 hours. Video Included.
Montano will receive a massage for 7 hours from 4 different practitioners. Sounds will be broadcast to a specific public place to be announced.
VIDEO RETROSPECTIVE/COUNSELLING ART
Montano’s videos will be shown as a retrospective. Montano will give ART/LIFE COUNSELLING during the video retrospective. Time to be determined by the numbers of videos made at the time of the event.
BE SIMPLE ART/LIFE
Montano will mentor the participants in the art of life/art simplicity on Skype, phone, in person, during a SIMPLICITY PERFORMANCE.
ROOT RELIGION ART
Montano will perform the story of her root religion, Catholicism, and her journey to Eastern Theologies and return to Catholicism. Participants will be asked to do the same performance at home and then email the result to Montano. A certificate will be sent to the participants completing the process.
LINDA MARY MONTANO’S 7 HOUR GLAND-A-THON WITH FRIENDS
For over 20 years Montano studied and performed the concept of “CHAKRAS”, a Hindu energy system. But when Montano became a Roman Catholic practitioner, she changed focus from Chakras to “GLANDS”, using the same endocrine system but clearing the word of “religious” references which makes most people uncomfortable these days. We all have glands but many people do not think they have Chakras!
For this endurance, Montano will ask 7 different participants to represent a gland and then to perform that gland for an hour. Montano will be blindfolded for the entire event and in perpetual motion/movement for 7 hours. This choice to move continuously is a comment on the fact that people with Dystonia are always being “moved” physically by the disease (tremors or spasms) and moving by CHOICE is ecstasy for someone with this condition. This endurance is a peace offering for not only the glands of our own human bodies but also for the positive intentions of all beings at this time of great world concerns.
DEATH: DO NOT FEAR
Death is hidden, feared, wondered about. It creates all kinds of responses in our emotional and thinking lives. This class would open the chapter called DEATH and examine it from the many different angles and interests of the participants of the class.
You tube videos, past art and internet research sites will be examined as well as trips to cemetaries, morgues, embalmers, funeral directors, pathologists.
My tapes: MITCHELLS DEATH and BENARES will be studied and I will share my research about death with my lecture: DEATH IN THE ART/LIFE OF LINDA MARY MONTANO.
The participants will write their wills, study how to draw up Power of Attorneys, Health Care Proxys and Obituaries and will teach each other the techniques of legally protecting their final days and health care decisions.
Their interviews with theologians, hospice workers and medical people will help with their understanding of mortality/immortality.
We will perform DAD ART, my 3 hour interactive study of the old age, sickness and death of my father as a final presentation as well as group shows of work produced during this class.
All aspects of this class are improvised and adapted to the needs of the group.