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Thursday, March 7, 2013

PERFORMER BELTS OUT RONSTADT TUNES

ALBERQUERQUE  JOURNAL: FEB 23, 2013
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Performer belts out Ronstadt tunes
Linda Montano, left, sings along with Linda Ronstadt songs and David Merril knits, both of them on a scissor lift, outside Site Santa Fe Friday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
Linda Montano, left, sings along with Linda Ronstadt songs and David Merril knits, both of them on a scissor lift, outside Site Santa Fe Friday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
A wisp of a woman, her brown wig covering a froth of silver, rose slowly from a lift belting out Linda Ronstadt songs through a white bullhorn Friday.

It’s 32 degrees in Santa Fe, as a veil of snowflakes spirals to the ground. The woman is 71 years old and wearing a brown cowboy outfit with purple gloves atop as she attempts “When Will I Be Loved,” her phrasing at times careening into a screech.
And this was near the start of several hours of Montano doing Ronstadt.
Call it corner karaoke, but really long.
Linda Mary Montano calls it art.
From the epicenter of California performance art, Montano has dressed as a chicken in a blue prom dress on the streets of San Francisco. She handcuffed herself to fellow artist Tom Maroni for three days. She once bought a thrift store nurse’s uniform, telling friends she would make house calls when they were sick, offering chicken soup and hand-holding.
In 1972, the chicken dance landed her in the arms of the suicide prevention squad when she performed it atop the Golden Gate Bridge.
“I was picked up and told there was traffic stopped for five miles on each side and if anybody got hurt I would be liable,” she said. “I thought art was without consequence.”
Performance artist Linda Montano belts it out along with recorded Linda Ronstadt songs outside Site Santa Fe in cold and snow on Friday. (Eddie MOore/Journal)
Performance artist Linda Montano belts it out along with recorded Linda Ronstadt songs outside Site Santa Fe in cold and snow on Friday. (Eddie MOore/Journal)
“Always Creative,” Montano’s exhibition/installation at SITE Santa Fe, opened Friday. The show features photographs, video and color-coded piles of her clothing mirroring each of the seven chakras. The artist will also conduct what she calls “art/life counseling”by Skype on March 22 and on April 19. Call 505-989-1199 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 505-989-1199 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting to schedule a session.
Friday found Montano ascending hour by hour on the scissor lift in front of the SITE building at 1606 Paseo de Peralta, singing along with a taped Ronstadt. The event was scheduled for noon to 7 p.m. in an endurance piece she calls “Singing My Heart Out.”
SITE preparator David Merrill accompanied her by knitting a 14-foot line of orange yarn.
By late afternoon, Montano had moved inside to continue the marathon, because of the cold weather.
The Santa Fe exhibit marks one of many times Montano has created a persona. When she was diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disorder affecting her neck, she turned it into art. The resulting stooped posture –– coupled with her strict Catholic upbringing––made her think of Mother Teresa.
“When it was bad, I said, ‘I feel like Mother Teresa, scrunching over and lined,’ so I said, ‘New persona’!”
Life regularly improvises itself into her art.
The Ronstadt performance hearkens back to her 1978 video piece “Mitchell’s Death,” in which she mourns the death of her murdered husband while acupuncture needles jut from her face.
“I listened to her in ‘75-’76 when I was living in California,” Montano said. “She was my voice. I’m a closet singer. Singing along with her made me feel better than me. It was therapy for me.”
As far as the artist knows, Ronstadt knows nothing of her appropriation.
Street reaction to Montano’s signing early in the day ranged from those who bopped to the beat to giggles and to those who chose to sing along to the provided lyrics.
“Art comes with intention,” Santa Fe performance artist Red Cell said as he watched.“I think nearly anything can be viewed as art. She’s one of the best living performance artists. At first, it seems humorous, but as you stick with them through it, it shifts and changes.”
“She’s not off-key…yet,” he added. “That’s why I want to come back in six hours. It’s a test of endurance.”
“This is a lot of her personal history,” fellow artist and onlooker J.C. Gonzo said. “She’s done incredibly important work for performance art for four decades.”
Bob Dylan and Saint Teresa
At Manhattan’s New Museum, Montano offered monthly art/life counseling in a building window installation from 1984-1991. In the ‘80s, she used tarot cards, palm and psychic readings. Today she has returned to her original Catholicism. She has created several videos exploring that faith, including “Father Lebar: Catholic Priest and Exorcist;” and “Saint Teresa of Avila,” as well as three-hour lip-syncing endurances as Bob Dylan.
Performance art releases her from what she calls the “everyday mind,” she said.
“It could be anything; I could be washing dishes for seven hours; it’s meditation.
“I hope it kills anything in the way of holding onto ego or mental and spiritual limitations,” she explained. “Yes, I hope it kills me.”
“I’m at this place where I do not feel special,” she said. “I think artists are trained to be special.”
As a young girl, Montano wanted to be a priest. She joined the Maryknoll Sisters after a year in college. She emerged weighing 80 pounds, thanks to an eating disorder. The latter resulted in the 1981 video “Anorexia Nervosa.”
Although Montano’s College of New Rochelle degree is in sculpture, she devoted herself to performance art beginning in 1971. She moved to San Francisco with her husband, photographer Mitchell Payne, in 1970. She continued her art/theology dialogue by living in a Zen monastery for three years and an ashram in the 1980s. Today she lives in Saugerties, N.Y.
“I’m an artist, so everything I say is art is art,” she insisted. “Artists have permission via Duchamp and John Cage and Gertrude Stein.”
Montano will return to SITE on April 19 to perform “Singing My Heart In,” songs by Raka Mukerjee, encouraging audience participation, descending once an hour for seven hours.

LINDA GOES TO THE BACHMANN STRAUSS PARKINSONS/DYSTONIA CONFERENCE MARCH 2013




PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT: THEY ARE NY NOTES AND MIGHT NOT BE ACCURATE. THIS IS MEANT AS AN INSPIRATION, NOT TOTALLY ACCURATE FACT. THANKS LINDA MAY MONTANO LINDAMONTANO@HOTMAIL.COM


March 4, 2013 I attended the BACHMANN STRAUSS DYSTONIA/PARKINSON CONFERENCE In Manhattan. I will give an overview of the conference.
1. DR ERIC NESTOR, Director of the BRAIN INSTITUTE of MT SINAI talked about " the molecular mechanisms of addiction and depression based on work in animal models, to develp improved treatments of depression"

2. PANEL: MODERATOR: DR. EMILY SENAY: Dr, medical/public health educator, broadcast Journalist, author.
Chair: DR BARBARA CHANGIZI: Assistant Prof of Neurology. Manages DBS , evaluates, programs DBS devises.
DR BRIAN KOPELL, Neurosurgeon, Mt Sinai. 500 DBS surgeries. Targeting Parkinsons, tremor, tinnitus, depression. Pioneered intra-operative imagaing during DBS to spplemet microelectrode recording.
DR NUTAN SHARMA, Neurologist, Mass Gen. Researches the causes of Dystonia. Established a dystonia clinic at Mass Gen and evaluates and cares for dystonia patients.

Panel was very informative and I asked Dr Sharma a question about alternatives to botox and she suggested accupuncture.

PATIENT PANEL:
4 Dystonia patients and the mother of the youngest, were incredibly helpful and informative.

A Japanese piano player with focal/hand dystonia, said he "cures" himself with MEDITATION, NOT MEDICATION. He lays his fingers on the piano and talks to them, relaxing one finger at a time for 10 minutes each. It has taken him 7 years to be able to play with one hand completely workable and on the other hand he uses 2 fingers. He was incredibly inspiring and he says he "TALKS TO HIS FINGERS AND HIS BRAIN."

The next panel member was a young man who had gotten so isolated and was using excessive drinking to handle the pain of his whole body dystonia. He had had DBS and was happy he did that.

The third panel member was a young woman with whole body dystonia who opted to "live with it" rather than have to shave her hair for an operation or have pacemakers placed in her chest. She was in college and very brave and strong and very open. She talked about not being shy, having courage, not fearing when people look at you. She was really spasming and twitching and such an example of doing things her way. She had a speech impediment but "talked" anyway and said that as long as she could "talk" then she would opt for that and not think about the DBS which frightened her.

The fourth panel member was a high school young man who had DBS after many years of suffering pain and crippling. His mother was sitting next to him and it was so helpfull to hear her story as well. Her son was totally bed-ridden and in a wheelchair and home schooled and he had had a very hard time getting the proper medical analysis of his symptoms, holding up a 3 inch package of cards which were saved from the many doctors he had gone to! He was so positively spirited and smiling and all of the panel members agreed that humor was a life-saver. His mother brought in Holocaust survivors to talk to her son when he had to stay at home so that he would have inspiring role models of survivors of difficulties! His mother said that family members need to support, advocate for those with dystonia, and help raise $ for dystonia research.
RANDOM NOTES:
OLD DRUGS: BACLOPHAN, ANTICHALONERIGICS(!), BENZODIAZEHINE(!), TETRABENZADINE
NEW DRUGS:
AMPHYCILLAN FOR DYT1 DYSTONIA
ACETYLHEXPEPTIDE 8 FOR BLEPHAROSPASM, A CREAM(!)
DEFERPRONE FOR CHILDREN
BACLOPHAN PUMP
TMS MAGNETIC MEDICINE
TONGUE STIMULATOR
TAKE ALL OF THE ABOVE WITH GREAT CAUTION..NOT SURE OF MY NOTES ACCURACY...
RANDOM NOTES:
DYSTONIA IS ABNORMAL ELECTRICAL RHYTHM IN THE BRAIN
EFFECTS THE GLOBUS PALLUS AETERNUS
STAY LIMBER, KEEP BRAIN PLASTIC, REMODEL THE BRAIN TO COMPENSATE
DONT DO NECK CHIROPRACTIC, CAN LEAD TO ARTHRITIS AND OTHER DAMAGE(2 DRS SAY THIS)
DO GENTLE PHYSICAL THERAPY
TONGUE STIMULATOR(NO MORE INFO ABT THIS)
BRAIN WORKING 2 HARD WITH DYSTONIA, GIVING OUT 2 MANY SIGNALS
2 WORKSHOPS
1. ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE:TAUGHT BY BILL CONNINGTON: GREAT WORKSHOP: HE TEACHES AT SAFRA PARKINSONS WELLNESS PROGRAM AND ALSO SEES PEOPLE PRIVATELY. HE IS IN NYC. GREAT GREAT GREAT.
HE SAYS:
CALM AND RELAX THE MUSCLES
CALM THE NERVOUS SYSTEM DOWN
MAKE MUSCLES DEEP AND SOFT
REMIND SELF TO BE TALL/LONG
KEEP NECK VERY QUIET
STRETCH
REMIND YOURSELF OF THINGS WHEN U WALK. GET TALL, STAY STRAIGHT
BE CONSCIOUS AND REMIND SELF OF WHAT YOU WANT
GET EVERYTHING AS RELAXED AS POSSIBLE
PATIENT WISDOM:
I STIMULATE MY BRAIN WITH MY BRAIN
I TALK TO MYSELF
I IMAGEINE MY FINGERS ARE MOVING NORMALLY
NO CAFFEINE, TOBACCO ALCOHOL OR SUGAR
MEDITATION
WATCH MOVIES TO GET YOUR MIND OFF OF DYSTONIA
TELL YOUR HANDS NOT TO SHAKE
TRUST YOUR BRAIN
I TRY NOT TO FIGHT WITH MY DISEASE
WHATEVER COMES I TELL MY MIND ITS OK
ANXIETY BRINGS IT ON
DESTRACTION IS THE BEST METHOD
DONT LET IT CONTROL YOU , U CONTROL IT
WORKSHOP 2: THE BRAIN: RICHARD SABEL. FELDENKRAIS SPECIALIST, OT TEACHER.
HE SAYS:
IN TAI CHI, YOGA...THE WHOLE BODY MOVES
YOU WANT THREE THINGS: STRENGTH, FLEXABILTY, AWARENESS
THINGS T DO
1. CREATE NEW GOOD HABITS
2. BE AWARE TO CHANGE HABITS, LEARN
3. TO CHANGE. NEED A SKILLED INTERVENTION
4 SMALL EASY MOVEMENTS, SLOW AND GENTLE
ALLOW WHOLE BODY TO PARTICIPATE, INCORPORATE FULL BODY MOVEMENT. WORK MINDFULLY WITH EASE VS EFFORT.
HE TAUGHT WHENU TURN TO LOOK IN YOUR BACK WINDOW, MOVE YOUR WHOLE SIDE TO LOOK BACK NOT JUST THE NECK.......


LINDA MEETS ABIGAIL BROWN AT SITE SANTA FE




LINDA MEETS ABBIE (ABIGAIL BROWN FROM THE SPASMODIC TORTICOLLIS CLINIC) AT SITE SANTA FE:
Maybe it was 5 years ago? My cervical torticollis was at it's worst and I needed help. During one of my desperate calls to Howard Thiel, he told me about an alternative clinic for cervical dystonia in Santa Fe which was founded by Abigail Brown. That sounded perfect and I decided to go. So one supposedly nice March day, i was on my way to Santa Fe to go to Abbie's clinic from upstate NY, but the plane couldnt take off from Albany because of bad weather and I had to drive another hour back home! That's an hour up, checking in, shoes off, waiting for 2 hours etc and they said, come back tomorrow! The spasms in my neck were beyond acute and so I called Abbie and said, the plane wont take off, and because of this I will miss a day of your clinic because I am a day late, my basement is flooded and the spasms in my neck are at a 2138793 decibel level. That translates as off the chart. So she suggested that I take the correspondence version of her clinic, which I did and still do. A working relationship was started and because of all of the help I was receiving, I was always wanting to meet Abbie and Howard, my mentors in this journey.

A few years ago I went to Howard's Symposium near Newark Airport and met Howard, the founder of the Torticollis website and organizer of the yearly conference, and just a few weeks ago I met my other teacher, Abbie, while I was performing in Santa Fe.

This time I was able to fly to the southwest and was feeling so much better that I was presenting one of my performances at SITE, Santa Fe. In fact, my endurance chops re-surfaced and much tomy surprise, I could sit on stool, on top of a mechanical lift for 7 hours and "belt out" Linda Ronstadt songs, accompaning the CD. For 7 hours! With cervical dystonia! It was quite cold that day so I performed for 3 hours outside and the other 4 inside. All of this happened while I sat on a macho man-toy, which went into the air until after 7 hours I was 14 feet off the ground.

I had emailed Abbie and told her about my show and the performance and an hour into the "belting out", I looked down and there was my mentor and teacher, Abigail Brown! I was elated and excited and felt actually proud that as a graduate of her program, I could do such an intense and difficult event! She said, "You look good." And I know she meant the position of my non-botoxed neck and I then asked her a few questions. One about the neck stretching machine which she said she used daily, and a question about a gel that I got from an apothecary pharmacy which has AMI-BAC-DEXT-GAB 2%,2%10%10%. In her incredible expertise, Abbie said, " The AMI is on the dont use list." And I was so happy to see her, learn from her, and get the information I needed to stop using this med which is counter-indicated for dystonia.

I was lifted 14 feet into the air after 7 hours of performaing, but 34,983 feet into my happy heart after seeing Abbie! Thanks HOWARD AND ABBIE for bringing us all home to health.

Linda Mary Montano


LINDA MARY MONTANO AS A LIVING/NON-LIVING SCULPTURE




PURPOSE:
To show past and present "sculptures" with a corresponding catalogue to articulate Montano's 4-part sculptural evolution:

1. OBJECT MAKING 1965-PRESENT

2. CONCEPTUAL/LIVE OBJECT PRACTICE: CHICKEN SHOW (live or virtual chickens)

3. PERFORMANCE OF SELF AS A "LIVING SCULPTURE": CHICKEN BED, 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART

4. VIRTUAL SELF-SCULPTING VIA VIDEO (45 ENTRIES)

BACKSTORY:
MONTANO studied classical sculpture in Tuscany where she received a sculpture MA and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she received a MFA in sculpture with the presentation of THE CHICKEN SHOW, 9 live chickens in three 20 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet cages.
In the 70's she literally entered her work as a "LIVING SCULPTURE" and became THE CHICKEN WOMAN; lying down, sitting , dancing and singing as that persona.

THE SHOW:

1. 7 EARLY SCULPTURES: WOOD, METAL, STONE: RELIGIOUS ART, TORSO, HEAD, etc.

2. THE CHICKEN BED, THE CHICKEN SHOW etc.

3. NUMEROUS PHOTOS OF SCULPTURES FROM THE ARCHIVE.

4. OBJECTS IN VITRINES FROM EARLY PERFORMANCES.

5. THE ENTIRE 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART SHOW. See You Tube: SHHHHH

6. A WALL OF 45 MONITORS EARPHONED SO THAT A "SCULPTURAL" EFFECT IS CREATED BY REPETITION. EACH WILL HAVE ONE OF MONTANOS VIDEOS FROM 1970'S-NOW.

7. A CATALOGUE/BOOK WITH IMAGES OF EACH ENTRY AND A POSSIBLE DVD OF VIDEOS.
LINDAMONTANO@HOTMAIL.COM, 845 399 2502