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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

OPENING REMARKS WISCONSIN 2015

STATEMENT :MONTANO'S THEORY OF ART/LIFE
"When I began, a performance artist was someone who had permission to explore dreams, fantasies, nightmares, traumas, illness, food, nothing from the culture or everything from the culture. (We) felt extremely comfortable not knowing anything and not being able to do anything, but to go into the liminal world of dream, imagination, and luminosity. I work extremely autobiographically. If I have something wrong with me, I make a video or a performance. If I have something right... with me, I make a video or a performance or write a book. Need completely drives me. I read about the neuro-plasticity of the brain and the research being done on creativity and meditation and the ability for a creative mind to fix things. I am fascinated with the miraculous powers of the brain and art to heal, to mend the broken. My art also celebrates the ecstatic. My process is to work. Art is my job, and it’s also how I make a living." 

 OPENING REMARKS: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON 2015
It is with honest joy and excitement that I return to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the 1966-1969 scene of my chicken art-life.
Almost 5 decades ago, I came here fresh from an MA sculpture program held in a Medici Villa in Florence Italy where I acted as if I were a "sacred" artist, shipping home my medievalist inspired copper and wood crucifexes, inspired by my having been a nun for two years in the early 60's and continuing this tradition of anonymity and sincere, traditional representation of my then beliefs.

 GRAD SCHOOL IN MADISON
Madison changed all of that need to be holy to an attitude of academic inquiry, curiosity and intrigue about non-representational minimal art which the art world was practicing at the time. The magnificent, megastructures which were built, conceived and brandished proudly by the swarthy and large knuckled men grads of the sculpture department whetted my desire to learn and explore my past Roman Catholic beliefs in a new way, but only after I visited the chickens at the agricultural school here on campus. These visits had nothing to do with art, everything to do with life and my sanity, security and inspiration in this almost  male only  department which adhered to the then maxim that form alone was art.  Not just form but big, huge, humongous form. In fact, you had to have extra testosterone to face these male sculpture grads. So I went to the chickens to find some.
The chickens and their sounds, their color, their uniformity, their unique self-referential spirit of courageous independence mentored in me a courage to be, a courage to not need, a courage to be content with not having been domesticated.  Chickens who symbolically serve as a messenger of the Underworld, screeching out warnings in danger, and calling out for the souls of the fallen in battle, never need hugs or baths or massages or booties in winter or cute play toys or extra treats or days at a spa or obedience training, or chicken beds.  These Madison chickens were teaching me art and survival skills that I found fascinating and useful.  Were they so great because they were once dinosaurs? Wikipedia told me that Palaeontologists have long accepted that  the Tyrannosaurus Rex, evolved into the modern-day chicken and this rumor has been given scientific backing with the discovery of some pre-historic collagen which they found in a 68 million year old T-Rex's thighbone. This collagen-protein is responsible for giving skin its elasticity and bony Chicken wings their structure. These Madison once  dinosaurs, these miniature T-REXES,  called to me and prepared me for the ride of my art-life.
 
 
 

 THE SCENE AT UW  MADISON : 1966-69
Back then in 1966, I was lucky enough to have 3 cowmen not cowboy type professors( Ernie Moll, Richard Artswagger and         ) who actually did wear cowboy boots and swaggered in choreographed unison into my off campus studio one spring day and I think it was Ernie who said, "Montano, what are you going to do for your  MFA show?" Now I know that it was a channeled divine intervented word of wisdom coming from my 25 year old lips because I said,  "Chickens, I'm showing chickens for my MFA show."  This answer came from a deeply intuitive well spring lodged in my unconscious or maybe I was imitating my dad and his story about the time his mother wouldn't let him go to the movies and he put chickens in her kitchen as a response. Of course! All artists want to please Mom and Dad and he had been Chicken Man, I was being Chicken Woman, an insight that came to me some 20 years later.
 THE 1969 CHICKEN SHOW
So instead of making large welded metal non representational objects, instead of vacuum forming plastic half domes, instead of polyester resining life size mannequins of myself, Chickens it was for my final show. Lots of variations on chickens,  chicken sounds broadcasting from a loud speaker on my car; chickens answering on my phone answering machine; large hand-tinted portraits of chickens from the ag building on the walls across from the cages; and on the roof of the then new art building, I placed 3- 4x8 minimal art looking "sculptures " of wood and chicken wire which became the homes of 9 chickens during the duration of the MFA show. Each night I changed the housing situation and some times there were 3 in each cage, sometimes 6 in cage 2 and 3 in cage 3;  or 4 in cage 1, 2 in cage 2 and 3 in cage 3. It was perfect. The cages satisfied the then male component and need for structure, repetition and maga-size; and the live chickens satistfied my right brain need for honoring  life.
TRANSFORMATION
What was my reward? Not only an MFA but a belief in my personal process and the ability for art to become whatever it needed to be as long as it was presented in a way that alchemized and transformed time, space and matter ecstatically. Plus,  there was  a bigger prize because the night of the opening I went to the then ART BAR  and sided up to the side of those 3 sculpture professor giant cowboys and heard one or maybe all three of them say, "Hey Montano, want a beer?" a statement I treasure as much as the degree. I had feathered my nest and clucked my way home.

CHICKENS AND ARTISTS
Chickens are like artists :
1. They have a high level of specialized knowledge because they:
Humbly eat corn with focus. We artists make art with focus, consistency and creativity everyday.
2. They are one -pointedly  task oriented. And we artists will stay up all hours of day and night to complete an art project, working the muscle of our talent, just the way Chickens work the muscle of their persistent need to satisfy their hunger..
3. Chickens are authentically natural, normal and happy to be  themselves. So are we artists. We express our moods, passions and beliefs with standards of excellence.
4. Chickens are never embittered having been reduced from dinosaur status to jungle fowl status. We artists don't care if we don't get a gallery or receive the correct applause for our work. We still continue because our work is our medicine, our healing, our vocation, our calling, our joy.
5. Chicken are humble yet proud, cocky yet not obnoxiously competitive. Just like us artists.

AND NOW
And NOW More than ever, we need these gifts of Chicken strength and courage to address current affairs for as healers, we are called to respond to the catastrophes of now in a way that heals us and others. We are called to service, called to action, called to be focused, self assured, diligent and proactively hungry to love.
 
HOW I LOVE 
I would like to share a section of a video I made which is about this impotence of NOW and how I made art about this complicated and scary life.
Thank you very much. May we dinosaur our way with courage.  
BAWK.
Linda Mary Montano , Saugerties NY, September 2015
 
 

LINDA MARY MONTANO IS REBORN BY LINDA WEINTRAUB PLUS LINDA MARY MONTANO'S IMPERMANENCE WORKSHOP FOR MARRANCA'S PAJ


LINDA MARY MONTANO is REBORN
Linda Weintraub




Linda Montano did not wait to die to be reborn. The story of her entry into grace coincided with her father’s physical decline, illness, infirmity, and death.

In 2004, I visited Linda, who had returned to the Hudson Valley, where I live, six years earlier. At the time, neither she nor I considered this a professional visit related to our respective art careers. We two Lindas were simply getting together as friends. But, in the subsequent years, our get-together was re-categorized as a "studio visit," our conversation was reclassified as an "interview,"and the interactions I observed on that day endure as a culminating artwork of her distinguished career.
Six years before, Linda yielded to the beckoning of internal voices beseeching her to return home to Saugerties to care for her aging father. The time had arrived for them both to prepare for the inevitability of his death. All I knew about Dad can be summarized as follows: Italian ancestry, Americanized, musician, businessman, devout Catholic.
I entered the house midday. Outside it was hot, sunny, and noisy, but the curtained space inside was dark and unnaturally quiet. Mementos and stacks of papers were piled on every surface. The carpets were imprinted with the footsteps of former occupants, pillows were shaped by their bodies, and furniture was marked by their repeated gestures. I remember thinking that this must be how the past tense looks and feels.
By the time I walked back out into the summer glare, my impression had not only been revised, it was reversed. Linda and her father had not renounced themselves to the past. Indeed, they were not merely anticipating a future event: they were training for it. For six years and six months they had been making preparations to sanctify Dad’s passage from life to death, which occurred six months after this visit.
The first four years of this seven-year work of art might be described as a tender prelude. Linda drove her Dad to visit doctors, wrote his checks, played music with him, took photographs of him, and made videos with him, which is how an extensive and enchanting record of the mutuality of their daily activities came into being. They reveal an intimacy between daughter and Dad that transformed the common place into an inspired space. This prelude ended in 2001 when Dad suffered a stroke and Linda became his full-time caregiver. That is when her ministrations became eligible for inclusion in all future accountings of Linda Montano’s art career.
During my visit, Dad awoke from a nap. Linda fetched him. He appeared in a wheel chair, neatly dressed, combed, and shaved. Linda maneuvered him into kitchen. I followed. She tied a bib around his neck, took a container of yogurt from the refrigerator, and spoon-fed him his mid-day snack. I imagined her performing such tedious tasks, day-by-day, month-by-month, year-after-year. But Linda was not dispirited, and Dad was not pitiable. The intimacy of their exchange transformed drudgery into delight. Each was a benefactor and each a beneficiary.
Linda explained that the piles of papers heaped everywhere were charts, statements, and records documenting Dad’s diet, baths, sleeping patterns, and the condition of his teeth, bowels, and skin condition. Comments from nurses were notated alongside Linda’s observations of his miniscule actions. But it would be wrong to assume that this was a sorrowful record of unremitting degeneration at the waning of a life. These documents also offered evidence of unleashing of Dad’s creativity. The papers included the watercolors he had made, one each day, before and after he suffered a stroke. Although Dad had never before painted, he achieved the spare spontaneity of a Zen master’s calligraphy. The marks left by each journey of his brush across the page transcended representation and expression. They are tiny, eloquent epiphanies.
After Dad finished his snack and his bib was removed, Linda wheeled him to a side table that was arrayed with brushes, paper, and paints. She dipped a brush in the paint, placed it in his trembling hand, and guided it to so that it was suspended over the bare sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper she had laid before him. He did not move. Time came to a halt. She waited. We waited. Then, with intense concentration, his hand stirred and a single line of spare and stirring beauty gradually appeared on the page. He stopped. He was finished. No expression. No words. No gesture. He had poured all the capacities he had lost into this painted line.

Dad’s spirit was flourishing even as his body faltered. The watercolors are evidence of the extraordinary convergence of creative vitality at the brink of death. Linda believes they unleash the soulfulness he had cultivated during his life-long spiritual practice in the Catholic Church. "My father is Italian and Catholic, yet strangely his quality is Zen-like. He is half way between life and death. The payoff for his surrender is pure beauty. Beauty is a vibrational frequency, a brain wave."
Dad finished. Linda glowed, not like a proud mother, but in the manner of someone who had just observed a miracle. "Bliss" and "ecstasy" are the words she chooses to describe this period in her life, and they were written on her face. She and her father were experiencing synchronous spiritual awakenings. Neither had waited to die to be reborn.
Linda didn’t apply the word "art" to her care-giving devotions until after Dad died. Now they comprise another formidable artwork in which her father is the subject, muse, inspiration, and collaborator. As such, my observations on that day are ripe for art analysis. DAD ART takes three forms. First, there are the watercolors that mark the creative finale of Dad and daughter’s life together. DAD ART is also a film that combines pre and post-stroke footage, and serves as an enduring memorial of familial devotion. For the four years that preceded Dad’s stroke, he and Linda videotaped each other having breakfast, watching TV, and making music. Linda explains that the camera enabled Dad to communicate as he declined. After his stroke, Linda retained her position behind the camera because, she said, it helped her manage her emotions. She couldn’t watch him suffer. Thus, over the course of two-hours, viewers are invited to witness Dad being fed, bathed, driven to the hospital, and dying. The film then presents him dead and in the morgue. It ends with his burial. The shots are grainy, over or under exposed, uncomposed. She explains, "The film is really a memorial, not art cinema."
DAD ART is also a three-hour, participatory staged event in which the film is projected while Linda sits at a piano and sings, in a sweet soprano voice, her father’s favorite love songs from the thirties and forties. When I saw this work performed at the University of New Mexico in 2009, Montano led seven student volunteers, who were referred to as "secretaries," to chairs scattered across the stage. Audience members were invited to take a seat across from them to dictate letters to the dead and receive grief counseling. Their exchanges were inaudible to observers, but gestures and postures sufficed to convey their sorrow. However, communal grieving was not the finale of this work. As the film proceeded to Dad’s death and burial, audience members and their secretaries danced together. Then they formed a procession outdoors where the papers on which their sorrows were inscribed were placed in a metal bowl and burned. An orange and red flag was waved. The healing was complete.
Montano comments, "I felt that all my art had led up to the piece with my Dad. Everything I had ever done, everything I learned, everything I ever studied, was a prelude to being with my father in his last seven years. And now I’m undoing and re-seeing and fixing and healing." In order to establish DAD ART’s culminating role in the trajectory of her long career, Montano differentiates it from her earlier Art / Life series because it does not invest life with aesthetic and symbolic significance. It certainly is not Art / Art because it is not an aesthetic object presented to the public as a commodity. Instead, she refers to DAD ART as Life / Art which "only happens within an atmosphere of prayer." Life / Art is sanctified by ritual. It transcends the material world. It even transcends art.
DAD ART becomes transcendent by "unperforming" since performance art has been superseded by technologies that democratize the creation of images and events that were once the exclusive province of artists. Now, the public orchestrates its own flash mobs and produces its own selfies and YouTubes. Montano explains, "The real is not so much celebrated but narcissistically porned." DAD ART is an antidote to narcissistic porn. "We (artists) have to back off, back out, direct them, allow them. We have to find a new way to solve the riddles of dark and light." Montano’s manner of addressing such riddles is a radical departure from mediated hype. She explains, "The soul is quite simple. It wants passionate gentleness."
Because DAD ART cultivates true passion and compassion, DAD ART differs from the Art/Life Counseling projects Montano conducted during the preceding thirty years. She no longer felt the need to embody the persona of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bob Dylan, or Paul McMahon, or uses costumes and masks to assume their appearances, or mimics their gestures and lip synchs their music. She discards such disguises to confront "the challenge to be present and authentic." In DAD ART, Linda Montano performs as Linda Montano, not fictional others, or living others, or once alive others. She describes her new role as "Linda as ONE LOVE." 
Becoming, "one love" diverts Montano’s artistic intention away from the security of supervision and into the precarious territory of surrender.

"For the first time, I am not in control. I am fascinated by having to learn a new role as I’ve had to recycle my art statement from one of controlling time to one of relinquishing time. I have no idea when this performance will change. Time is gone from my art statement. I’m at the mercy of space because I’m committed to make DAD ART as long as I receive the message. I am here in obedience to the voices, to this teaching."
While this work ostensibly documents a deep communion between father and daughter, it also reverses manifold cultural assumptions that obstruct the cultivation of "one love." As such, Dad Art offers ways to heal the ruptures that accompany the benefits of contemporary life styles. For example, serving the needs of another is typically considered to be demeaning; DAD ART reveals that being in service can be uplifting. Labor is commonly understood to be a regrettable necessity; here, labor is a conduit for rapture. Menial tasks cease being drudgery and offer the enrichment of ritual. Physical confinement becomes an occasion to journey spiritually. Psychological endurance offers the prospect of joyful discovery. Suffering ceases to be an affliction and becomes an instigator of creativity.
Perhaps the ultimate revelation offered by DAD ART is that death can be embraced as an occasion for beauty. The cultural institutions that surround death in contemporary culture stifle this possibility. Loved ones are typically sent to a hospital or a nursing home where their care is allocated to a professional who is typically more skilled at giving drugs than loving. For all these reasons, few of us are there to receive the "vibrational frequency" as a life expires. Linda Montano and Dad anticipated this consecrated transaction. They primed themselves for it. Before his stroke Dad told his daughter, "I’m not going to die until you’re perfect."
Montano shared her personal assessment of this poignant work by offering the following words. They compare her collaboration with Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh in which the two artists literally "tied the knot"on July 4, 1983 when they were bound to each other by an eight-foot length of rope, and remained tied until July 3, 1984. The ties of bondage are juxtaposed with the ties of love.
"yes rope was tied by rope, ...DAD ART was tied by love 
rope  tied by art,   DAD ART tied by life 
ROPE tied by public/MEDIA ...DAD ART  tied by private/prayer 
Rope: tied by world...........DAD ART tied by DNA

 
Just as I completed the last sentence of this essay, I heard the familiar "ding" announcing the arrival of another email. It was sent to me by Linda Montano. The text is so pertinent to this essay, that I share it in its entirety:


IMPERMANENCE/SUFFERING AND AN ANTIDOTE: 4 WORKSHOPS LINDA MARY MONTANO
 
The Buddha said it all … we live, get old, maybe sick, and eventually we all die. While doing so, we take our life and our impermanence very seriously, suffering when we suffer and wanting none of the complications. When it is good, we want that to stay. When bad, we run and hide. This is technically called clinging, greed, attachment. All bad. All cosmic migraines.
 
As artists, we are given a clean and clear art-slate, empty of the words, feelings and opinions of others … waiting for our genius to explain/explore our unique journey. As I aged, I began "getting" the Buddha and said, "Yes, I'm getting old, sick, and can see death!" And good life-artist that I am, I made art/performances/videos about what is happening to me, literally, as I speak.

This 4-minute, 4-day, 4-hour, 4-week, 4-month or 4-year workshop is a sharing of my process and invitation to others to play-life, play-impermanence, play-solution with me, as art. It is designed to be a quickie or a long term workshop-process, whatever is applicable to the site. There are 4 PHASES:

PHASE 1: OLD AGE:  One of the bug-a-boos of old age is the nursing home … a place that we fear, shun, don't want to visit or be in. A place we can smell without visiting! My thesis is, if I do it to myself, if I place myself in a fake nursing home, now, I can deflect the trauma and also REHEARSE for the time I might have to go in one. If I playact nursing home, then it will drain the event of its poison.
In this first workshop, we will watch my video, NURSE, NURSE and then in a safe community of co-performers, we will experience the mental and physical actions/states of mind of someone in a nursing home. For example, being fed, being washed, being walked, etc. We will do those things for each other, exchanging roles. GIVING/RECEIVING. In this cauldron of woken-up triggers, we will take care of each other, process feelings and write so that the information can be helpful and not trauma-causing. All four workshops will be carefully tended this way. Therapeutic touch, here we come!!!!!!!!
We will not only perform actions but also will be making nursing home sounds and pleadings and coughs and yells and calls to those walking down the "outside halls"; and we will be making wails of wanting and desperation and regret. We will rehearse and practice being un-masked, un-muted and heard so that a new courage can be born from the experience of our played out vulnerability. Practice makes perfect.
omit this line
What would the Buddha say about old age? It is the attachment to the way things were; the firm muscles and un-cellulited thighs that create suffering. Mourning the body's betrayal of itself via art is a technique that the Buddha would approve of, I'm sure
 
PHASE TWO: SICKNESS: Sometimes we catch it … an illness, that is, and get sick. Some people never do. For me, my life events are matter for my art … So when I "caught" cervical dystonia/torticollis, I went to the drawing board and made art, a video titled, DYSTONIA, like I always do when I don't know how to talk about what is happening, when I don't know how to feel. My neurologist who gives me the botox shots in my neck every three months, collaborated by letting his assistant film the process. My Yoga teacher's home-schooled son, Jonathon, read the pain "story "in this video. It is a fable that softens the horror of having a neurological chronic disease! Art is medicine and a way to distance from the clinging to the perfection of a body that never lies!
 
PHASE THREE: DEATH: Death, the last taboo. Our last performance. For a boomer Westerner, death has always been an antiseptic and non-transparent muffling of the real. My husband was murdered, my mother faux-murdered by the AMA's radiation burns to her entire inner abdomen, Jesus died on the cross, Dad was injured by an incompetent PT who caused him to have a hemorrhagic stroke which he wobbled around with for three final years! I couldn't escape the Grim Reaper and didn't understand how to be or feel about him/her. In 1978, I made a video of my reaction to MITCHELL'S DEATH, in 1997 I went to Benares and recorded the burning ghats. In 1997 I wrote a paper for a lecture that eventually became a video titled LIVING ART, DYING ART. I was always obsessed with death and the thought of it as a metaphor for my unresolved emotional unhappiness, my wanting to die, my need to bow out. Making art about death, instead of Steven Kinging myself via a tragic and bloody endgame, has kept me quite busy.
 
In this workshop, we will explore the real aspects of dying: living wills, power of attorney, green burials. But more importantly, each participant will write an obituary and lay in state, on view, in a self-designed way and with visual accoutrements that are conversant with their need, style, safety. Would that be fake silk flowers or butterfly wings? The obituary, which can be read to the person lying-in-state by another workshop participant or recorded on iPhone, can either ditto the life of the participant and be an actual "read" or the obituary can be a big lie and have total non-credibility but be healing in its transformative illusion. That is, it can match their life, as-is, or it can be a look at their life as-they-would-like-it-to-have-been. Basically, an "art-lie" lifts the truth to a better and higher truth.
Again, the Buddha applauds flowery visualization and stretchings of the truth, I'm sure.

PHASE FOUR: AN ANTIDOTE: The Buddha talks about clinging, and the mind as a dangerous trap and memory and greed and desire as the cause of suffering. His antidotes? Meditation/visualization/prayer/nature. But, as we all know, there are 49,834,635 techniques to move us out of the monster hall of mind-fame. My choice has been performance and video. In this last workshop, I will share STARVED SURVIVORS, a video I made which flowed out of a day/night dream into real time. This video references fairy tale and stream of consciousness and the underground. In the past, that is the 1970s, I left my own life and it's a true and bizarre and scary story by getting out of my "skin" and taking on different personas. LEARNING TO TALK, and MASKS were the results of this self-therapy. I have also found that writing copious fairy tales have also been a way to re-boot, re-calibrate, re-see and re-sell my tainted autobiography to myself so that my past life choices don't sting and hurt so much.
We become re-deemable via the fairy tale. We re-visit trauma and PTSD and fictionalize injustice and make the enemy pay. We re-purpose the neurochemistry of our brain, dragging sordid memories out of the depths of hell into bearable, creative dark. We look at situations, make up a struggle and then find fabulous solutions, much better than the life we are leading! And guess what???? The mind loves this and gets out of the rut of its obsessive self-hate and runs toward the filmy, hazy, get out of jail … light.
Buddha, thanks for playing with me.
Linda Mary Montano

KAREN GONZALEZ RICE: LINDA MONTANO AND THE TENSIONS OF MONASTICISM

KAREN GONZALEZ RICE


LINDA MONTANO AND THE TENSIONS OF MONASTICISM




https://www.academia.edu/2928547/_Linda_Montano_and_the_Tensions_of_Monasticism_





“Linda Montano and the Tensions of Monasticism,” in Ronald R. Bernier, ed., Beyond Belief: Theoaesthetics or Just Old-Time Religion? (Eugene, OR:  Wipf and Stock, Pickwick Publications, 2010), p. 25-43.

DR ARUNA MEHTA AND LINDA MARY MONTANO

REPOST: DOROTHY DAY LECTURE

 Presented at  ST FRANCIS HOUSE: A CATHOLIC WORKER HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY, Connecticuit 
                                                  Linda Mary Montano                                                                                          

PART 1

As we age, we gather more and more information and it takes us longer to retrieve facts and longer to cross reference neurocortexed  details from physical memories, psychological memories, moral memories, factual memories and spiritual memories. As a result of this multi level firing of information packets stored in our past experiences, we slow down to retrieve and let our wiring do it's job. This is not a bad thing but is often seen as a misdemeanor and sign of wrong, wrong, and more wrong. And the worst case scenario is that fear and trembling set in, the adrenal glands do the fight-flight dance and memory stalls to a halt. Permission to be slow, to walk slow, to think slow, to eat slow, to talk slow is a great cure for that.  Slow life, I salute you.

Back to the wise: The wise are spacious and exude an atmosphere of rich acceptance of reality as it is and  often wise elders are doppleganger-stand ins for  Zen masters when they are that in touch with their natural deep selves. Both exude mountain-like majesty.

So it is good to be  wise, good to be  slow and deep and spacious, certainly not qualities found on day and night TV shows  where speed, verbal karate and lightening -like dismissal of the moment and the other is a commodity to be treasured.

So now that being old and wise seems so fabulous, how do we approximate, imitate or practice to be wise. Here are a few suggestions; some are taken from an article by Vivian Clayton.

We all well know that the wise do all or some of these good things:

 *move mindfully&physically as much and as often as possible
*move mentally according to individual interests
*learn how to cultivate positive relationships
*volunteer according to individual interests by either physically going somewhere or digitally/spiritually supporting others
*deflect self-aggrandizement for positive recognition of others
*embrace acceptance
*eat to nourish and cleanse
*practice a spiritual  path
*learn to die daily to prepare for the final death
*laugh a lot

In my own story, my grandmother was my teacher...a radical and creative woman who created art  instead of worry about her life issues. She taught me  to transform my personal  monsters into myths via the arts.

 Because of her,  I wanted to always have elders in my life and in the 90's I interviewed a few of them from upstate NY and they mentored me to move toward aging with humility and humor.  The video ALWAYS CREATIVE tells their stories and can be found for free on You Tube to be seen in its entirety at your leisure.

The second video, LINDA MONTANO CELEBRATES MOTHER TERESA'S 100TH BIRTHDAY, is a performance I did in front of the Empire State Building in protest of the fact that they would not turn on the blue and white tower lights of the building  for Mother Theresa but turned on yellow lights for Sponge Bob. Their bad! I was there for 3 days, 3 hours a day, blessing people and many times being mistaken for the saint herself! I recommend theatre-training to anyone who would also like to experience walking in the shoes of someone they admire, just for a day!

Why did I choose to imitate Mother Teresa? I have been exploring myself as other personas, some imaginary, some real since 1976. About 7 years ago I developed a neurologic disorder called Cervical Dystonia, a spasming of neck muscles and cramping of other body muscles. One day in the middle of being totally twisted I said to myself, " I feel (actually look) like Mother Teresa, all bent over"!  and immediately as I thought this  the inner invitation to be her was born. Having gotten a permission from her nuns in the Bronx to act as if I were their foundress, I proceeded to appear as Mother Teresa for years.

I ask:  who was your positive elder-teacher in your childhood? Choose  one.  What did that elder give you? How have you used those teachings in your life?

PART 2

Dorothy Day was wise before she was old, i'm sure. Prayer is a wisdom-maker and so is suffering . I ask Dorothy Day to shine her wisdom on us and open those doors that yearn to feel wise light.

During the video LINDA MONTANO CELEBRATES MOTHER TERESA'S 100TH BIRTHDAY,  I will read a few sentences from the movie, ENTERTAINING ANGELS, a docudrama of the life of Dorothy Day, the founder along with Peter Marin, of the CATHOLIC WORKER and CATHOLIC WORKER HOUSES OF HOSPITALITY, as I stand with great honor in one of DOROTHY DAYS, HOUSES OF HOSPITALITY, ST FRANCIS HOUSE .

*CHRIST IS IN THE PEOPLE, READY TO FILL OUR EMPTINESS.

*YOU'RE A SMART WOMAN, MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.

*DOROTHY'S PRAYER: YOU'VE GOT TO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO. I WRITE BUT THAT'S NOT ENOUGH. PLEASE SHOW ME HOW. PLEASE.

*PEOPLE WHO ACT DONT THINK, PEOPLE WHO THINK DONT ACT.PETER  MARIN

*TAKE LESS SO OTHERS CAN HAVE MORE.

*FIND GOD. GOD IS AS CLOSE AS THE CLOSEST HUMAN BEING. ESPECIALLY THE POOR.

*THE POOR NEED A VOICE, YOU SHOULD START A NEWSPAPER. PETER MARIN

*JUSTICE AND PEACE GO TOGETHER. YOU CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER.

*IF YOU FEED THE POOR YOU ARE A SAINT. IF YOU ASK WHY THEY ARE POOR YOU ARE A COMMUNIST. WE DO BOTH HERE AND WE ARE NEITHER SIANTS OR COMMUNISTS.

*HELP PEOPLE FEEL LOVED BY GOD.

*DOROTHY'S PRAYER: WHERE ARE YOU? WHY DONT YOU ANSWER ME? I NEED YOU. I'M EMPTY, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE.

*I'VE BEEN DOING ALOT OF THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU SAID LAST NIGHT. YOU'RE RIGHT. I'VE BEEN ARROGANT AND SELF RIGHTEOUS WITH THE INTENT OF DOING EVERYTHING MYSELF INSTEAD OF LETTING GOD WORK THROUGH ME.  AND I'M SORRY FOR ALL OF THAT. IVE BEEN THINKING OF WHAT IT IS THAT GOD WANTS ME TO DO. IT'S BEEN A VERY LONELY LIFE AND IVE BEEN LOOKING TO FILL THE EMPTINESS AND NOW I SEE IT BEGINS WITH THESE PEOPLE. THEY ARE MY MEETING PLACE WITH GOD. IF I WERE JUST GIVEN A CHANCE I KNOW THAT GOD WOULD FILL ME WITH LOVE, FILL ME THROUGH THESE PEOPLE AND I HOPE THAT I DONT HAVE TO DO IT ALONE. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE TO LEAVE I WILL UNDERSTAND.

*THE PAPER IS NEVER GOING TO BE WHAT YOU OR I WANT I T TO BE BUT I DONT THINK THAT GOD WILL JUDGE US ON HOW SUCCESSFUL WE WERE TO CHANGE THE WORLD BUT ON HOW FAITHFUL WE WERE IN SERVING THE POOR.

* DOROTHY DAY CONTINUED TO FEED THE HUNGRY, CLOTHE THE NAKED, SHELTER THE HOMELESS UNTIL HER DEATH IN 1980. A CHAMPION OF NON-VIOLENCE, SHE WAS JAILED REPEATEDLY FOR PROTESTING THE NUCLEAR ARMS RACE AND THE WAR IN VIETNAM.
 L
Quotes taken from the docu-drama  ENTERTAINING ANGELS

THE CHICKEN CLUB



THE CHICKEN CLUB


 IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN THAT ONE OF THE ONCE HUGE DINOSAURS WAS A PRECURSOR OF THE MODERN CHICKEN . IF YOU WANT TO VERIFY THIS, CHECK IT OUT ON WIKIPEDIA .

SO THE NEGATIVE BULLYING CRY OF, "DONT BE CHICKEN ," IS TOTALLY INACCURATE AND NOT TO BE  LISTENED TO OR BELIEVED. THESE ONCE HUMONGOUS MIGHTY CREATURES ARE NOW THE MOST HUMBLE,  FOCUSED AND FAITHFUL TO TASK SENTIENT BEINGS ON THIS EARTH, PAYING ATTENTION TO NOW/THE PRESENT MOMENT IN  A WAY EVEN THE MOST DEDICATED MEDITATOR WOULD WISH FOR HERSELF.

WHY ARE WE DRESSED AND APPEAR AS FAUX-CHICKENS?  BECAUSE WE WANT TO  HONOR ALL CHICKENS BY JOINING THE CLUB OF THOSE WILLING TO DON  THEIR OWN UNIQUE VERSION OF APPAREL INDICATIVE OF CHICKENHOOD, THAT IS, THOSE WILLING TO WEAR WINGS THAT ARE INOPERATIVE AND CLOTHES THAT ARE COLORED TO RESEMBLE THE ATTRACTIVE PLUMAGE OF THIS NOBLE BEAST.

TIMES FOR APPEARANCES CAN BE FOR 3 DAYS, 3 HOURS A DAY,  3 YEARS, 30 YEARS.  YOUR CHOICE. YOU MAY SIT, WALK OR STAND BUT WITH ATTENTION TO THE DIGNITY OF OUR FOCUSED AND INTENSE TASK OF ATTENDING TO THE MOMENT.

OUR ACTIONS WILL BE TO APPEAR IN PUBLIC WITH OUR WINGS THAT FLUTTER BUT DO NOT CARRY US UPWARD AND IN DOING SO, EFFECTING THE SYMBOLIC CONSCIOUSNESS OF ONLOOKERS WHO MIGHT QUESTION OUR ACTION. ARE WE ANGELS?  NO. ARE WE REALLY CHICKENS, NO.  WE ARE INSPIRED BY CHICKENS AND SHARE OUR INSPIRATION BECAUSE WE WANT TO SPEARD THE MESSAGE OF COURAGE TO ALL.

AND WHEN QUESTIONED, OUR ONLY RESPONSE WILL BE, " DON'T BE AFRAID."

THERE ARE NO FEES COLLECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CLUB'S ACTIVITIES.

CLUCK, CLUCK.

LINDA MARY MONTANO 2015

THE PERFORMANCE OF SCHMOOZING




 THE PERFORMANCE OF SCHMOOZING: LINDA  MARY MONTANO  2015

OUR  FACES HAVE BEEN STOLEN BY OUR MACHINES.  THE ONLY LIGHT WE SEE IS THAT GIVEN OFF BY OUR HAND HELD DEVICES, OUR COMPUTER SCREENS , OUR TELEVISIONS AND THE BULBS INSIDE OUR REFRIGERATORS.

WE SPEND HOURS EVERY DAY PRACTICING HOW TO DELETE, DISLIKE, HIDE, SHIFT, END, CONTROL. THIS IS  DONE WITH OUR THUMBS AND  FINGERS.  AS A RESULT,  OUR PUBLIC  EYES , HANDS, MOUTHS AND LIPS ARE SEALED IN A NEW SHYNESS, NEVER MEETING OR TOUCHING OTHER HUMANS. AND WHEN WE DO MEET, OUR THUMBS AND FINGERS INVISIBLY MOVE TO  SHIFT, CONTROL, ALT OR DELETE SO WE CAN HIDE OUR DISCOMFORT AND ROBOTTED INVISIBILITY. HELP!

 STOP, DONT WORRY. THERE IS A CURE. IT IS CALLED THE PERFORMANCE OF SCHMOOZING. HOW TO DO IT?
 LET'S MEET WITH OTHER  HUMANS AND FOR AS LONG AS WE CAN STAND IT, GIVE FACE TIME, GIVE EYE TIME, GIVE CHAT IT UP TIME, GIVE LIP TIME, GIVE WARM HUG TIME, GIVE MAKE BELIEVE "I TOTALLY LOVE YOU TIME", GIVE YOU LOOK FABULOUS TIME, GIVE I HAVE A JOB AND RETROSPECTIVE AND BOOK DEAL FOR YOU TIME AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THIS IS ART AND NOT A 3-D PRINTED LIE.  IT IS NOT A SIN. DONT WORRY.
SMILE ALOT, GLAD - HAND ALOT.  WHY? PERFORMING  AS  IF RESTORES THE WARM HAPPY HEART.
WE NEED EACH OTHER, AND THIS HEART, NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.
LET'S SCHMOOZE.

WHAT OUR BODY DOES IN A DAY VIA DIANE TERAMANA






What Your Body Does in a Day!!!
                                   
Sometimes you may feel like your body is beginning to creak and fail you on the outside, but do you ever stop to consider the incredible work that is taking place inside of it? There is so much going on and everything fits together so well, that it's almost impossible to comprehend it. This presentation will remind you that there are miracles going on inside your body every single day.
 
 
 
 
 Heart
Cancer
Brain
Stomach
Eyes
Energy
Red Blood Cells
Skin
Hair
Words
Liver
Saliva
Testicles
Kidneys
Hair
Digestion
Regeneration
Final Slide

DAD ART IS LIFE AND NOT ART


 DAD  ART : LIFE AND NOT ART

I returned to upstate NY in 1998 and began driving my then ok dad to appointments/doctors/bank/church  and we began a video collaboration, documenting suppers together, watching tv etc.
A tragic accident at  physical therapy, eventuated in a stroke and a 3 year 24-7 caring for dad at  home.
My camera was on and became I shield I hid behind because the pain of losing my friend, my father, was too much.
I became his care-manager and filmed up to and after his death and funeral.
The resulting 2 and a half to 3 hour "performance" is not art but a way to study impermanence via artifacts and performance.

it includes  4-5 collaborators who perform actions on stage while film is shown.
I sing (sometime with piano sometimes not)  7 of his favorite songs.
A procession to "burn" the written "letters to death" written during the performance ends the process.

This you tube is from one of the few times I shared DAD ART as a memorial with friends.                   
https://youtu.be/mYO_-pFvu4A

I would be honored to share DAD ART again at a venue that would bring this teaching of impermanence to others via LIFE-ART.

Linda Mary Montano
lindamontano@hotmail.com
845 399 2502

DAD ART IS LIFE AND NOT ART





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 DAD  ART : LIFE AND NOT ART

I returned to upstate NY in 1998 and began driving my then ok dad to appointments/doctors/bank/church  and we began a video collaboration, documenting suppers together, watching tv etc.
A tragic accident at  physical therapy, eventuated in a stroke and a 3 year 24-7 caring for dad at  home.
My camera was on and became I shield I hid behind because the pain of losing my friend, my father, was too much.
I became his care-manager and filmed up to and after his death and funeral.
The resulting 2 and a half to 3 hour "performance" is not art but a way to study impermanence via artifacts and performance.

it includes  4-5 collaborators who perform actions on stage while film is shown.
I sing (sometime with piano sometimes not)  7 of his favorite songs.
A procession to "burn" the written "letters to death" written during the performance ends the process.

This you tube is from one of the few times I shared DAD ART as a memorial with friends.                   
https://youtu.be/mYO_-pFvu4A

I would be honored to share DAD ART again at a venue that would bring this teaching of impermanence to others via LIFE-ART.

Linda Mary Montano
lindamontano@hotmail.com
845 399 2502