MOTHER TERESA BIO
I was raised orthodox Catholic and this informed my mind, my art and my life. As a result of this early spiritual training I lived two years in a convent, years in an ashram, years in a Zen monastery and years making transformative art of my daily life, my illnesses, my traumas, my hopes and fears. Having performed “creative schizophrenia” by morphing myself into different personas since 1975, (see MASKS on You Tube), I began performing as “real” people about 15 years ago, starting with Bob Dylan, Paul McMahon and also as Mother Teresa. The Mother Teresa doppelganger performance was born as a result of my chronic illness called Cervical Dystonia. It makes me tremor, scrunch up, spasm and twist with pain. One day I was doing all of that and my inner voice said, “I feel just like Mother Teresa!!!” So of course, having designed the MY ART IS MY LIFE manifesto back in 1969, I became her, as art, every chance I had and for her 100th birthday I performed as her in protest at the Empire State Building because they would not turn on the lights to blue and white to honor Mother Teresa but they did turn the lights on for Sponge Bob.Yellow of course.
At the performance, Catholic and non-Catholic visitors/protesters came to me for “blessings” and the ecstasy of incorporating her holiness into ME and sharing that faux-holiness with the Catholics at the ESB was both overwhelming and radically questioning of the theological politics of the church which does not allow for womenpriests let alone performance art recreations of Saints! I am left wanting to be her in secret, everyday, in the performance of everyday non-art.
Mark Shaw filmed the event and my four Guardians: Andrea Dominguez, Miss Toni Silver, Zhenesse Heineman and Leah Aron kept me safe and authoritatively unharmed as seen in the video LINDA MARY MONTANO CELEBRATES MOTHER TERESA’S 100TH BIRTHDAY, You Tube.