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Friday, April 30, 2010

FACEBOOK AND THE RECESSION:

"Dear FB,

For about a year, at the invitation of pioneer and techno-composer-legacy-holder, Pauline Oliveros, I have been "feeling" the family of FB and this internet/virtual relationship has generated new thoughts about art/life.
We are animal/human and need community. We attain and get that in many ways. It used to be neighborhoods but no more...kids cant play in the streets or their yards. We used to go to church , no more, we used to visit relatives , no more. Silently and slowly we are being forced into non-horseback riding time and catapulting into robotization and computer mind. We are being lured into sub-cutaneous implants and AI and no-think and machine speed. And the art world is led by the carrot of sameness into this silence by not offering any other options because:

Only the high rollers are getting the gigs and the teaching spots held tight by the past-timers.
Only the ones who will bring in the bucks are galleried.
Only the safe and sure are shown.(Names known by only the Guerilla Girls.)
Only the content that is wow and now is wanted.

Soooooooooooooooo

FB has become:

SCHOOL
GATHERING PLACE
HAPPY PARTY
JOB FINDER
MATE GATHERER
LOSS CONSOLER
RANT RECEIVER
PAST WORK DISPLAYER
DREAM MAKER
WHAT I ATE FOR LUNCH PHOTOGRAPHER
INSTANT AUDIENCE
TEACHER OF ART AS FREE COMMODITY
SHOW OFF CENTER
GROUP FORMER
JOB PLACEMENT SITE
FRIEND/FAN MAKER
PRODUCT/ART OBJECT ADVERTISER
RECESSION SNUBBER
GALLERY
SELF-IMPRESSION INFLATOR
RESURGER OF THE SPIRITUAL IN ART
DEPRESSION ADJUSTER
GREED DETHRONER
QUESTION ANSWERER
GRADUATE SEMINAR STUDY PLACE
NEW IDEA SHARER
PERSONAL BELL RINGER
WEBSITE ADVERTISER
FRIEND THIEF
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FORGETTER
PET PHOTO/VIDEO SHOWER
WASTER OF TIME
ADDICTION CREATOR

The list is longer for the positives and less for the delete/hide/escape apps. And as a result, FB, I still like you, I share your wisdom and your messages and your great facilities. OK I am using you and asking periodically for help to sell my archive, to ask questions about where the gigs are these days, and other narcissistic dreams. So maybe i'm not so pure and that money and being SEEN is more important than your friendship, but until I completely find your game a pitiful excuse for having a life, I will continue to tell all of my "friends" my news, the world's news and my extraordinary wisdom! And in an early morning Starbucks burst of energy, I will continue to SHARE other wonderful and informative bites I find that all 28379874982749874 of you might like. I know some will "hide" me but I will never know because I still have access to my other 409872474987 "friends". FB, I know that galleries are few, that $ is tight, I know that 328479874329 people are seeing my videos for free via you, but i'm not bitter oh FB, i'm just glad to be in your family. Art is finally about life and not art? How long this generosity and high lasts, who knows? Maybe not until the lawyers arrive.

Thanks FB for playing. One of your 238979857985798274983783009209947676 "FRIENDS",

Linda Mary Montano , PERFORMANCE ARTIST . In case you are interested, my web is www.lindamontano.com

ENTER

Admittedly we are all sensing a pre-renaissance black-out, a "dark age" with recognizable and historically accurate symptoms witnessed by historians of the fall (and/or transformation) of other dynasties teetering on the brink of armageddon.(The Roman ,Ottoman, German, British Empires perchance?)


BREAK

Can't we all agree that in this 21st century, we are communally experiencing a bad taste and aftermaths from universally experienced phenomena such as:



CIRCLE 475 PHENOMENON


Financial fumblings, cultural buffooneries, pervasive paranoia, modified mea culpas, bipartisan shenanigans, uncompassed morality, bipaped starvations, political circus acts, theological tsunamis, global tamperings, cyclical catastrophes, faux apologies, misleading marketing, conspicuous consuming, muddled multitasking, apocalyptic battering, padded documenting, salted wounding, power shifting, self loathing, hierarchical covering, pious grandstanding, spasmed tremoring, bankrupted dreaming, disintegrated remembering, virtual relating, techno crazing, outrageous compensating, congressional bullying and foreclosed trust!


CIRCLE 189 PHENOMENON

Diseased despondents, surrendered suicidals, unheld newborns, hooded jihadists, fundamental fanatics, antsy therapists, inattentive nannies, selfish narcissists, bonused buddies, media darlings, unconscienced thieves, suffocating egoists, discarded seniors, trafficked innocents, self inflicting terrorists, vulnerable victims, jolly junkies, over dutiful daughters, celebrity addicts, killer drones, spiritual materialists, scheming CEOs, interminable visitors, jealous sisters, stubborn students, lying boasters, ungrateful patients, cyber bullies, skeletoned anorexics, emotional mutes, nasty narcissists and miserable millionaires!


CIRCLE 362 PHENOMENON

Creepy oppressors, hypersexual prowlers, Holocaust deniers, death cheaters, begging borrowers, scud sharp shooters, carbon foot printers, attention mongers, greedy brokers, depressed designers, public apologizers, prepared preppers, subcutaneous cutters, sophomoric obsessors, inappropriate responders, furious professors, tormenting victimizers, parent starvers, neurotic neighbors, reputation slanderers, magnetic womanizers, surprise attackers, glad handers, halitosed dancers, grid locked commuters, grieving skaters, arrogant outsiders, soul sellers, gift refusers, aggressive reporters, sloppy visitors, pill stealers, animal abhorrers, hate disseminators, stinky passengers, authority balkers, sloppy foodmakers, name callers, energy suckers, germ spreaders, information secretors, junk hoarders, saccrine sympathizers, sweaty hand shakers, misguided worshippers, internet scammers, morphed murderers, obese outsiders, child abusers, frozen floormatters, dysfunctional reconfigurers, beauty kidnappers, unread biographers, gender assaulters, monumental mistakers, satanic afflicters, silent contemptors, counterindicated elders, hungry survivors, childhood stealers, guilted enjoyers, ponzi schemers, medical compromisers, careless caregivers, enraged partners, jailed minors, paralyzed players, unemployed loners, adulterous trespassers, vaccinated teenagers, double crossed informers, technological traumatizers, disabling humiliators, monetary misusers and nose pickers!


SHIFT

Oh, our poor bodies/minds are dodging the toxic arrows of it all! Dodging thoughts about pcb's and thoughts of no more potable water or no more fish or ice-sliding-glaciered polar bears! Thoughts about what to do about our arthritic thumbs twittered to spasm. Thoughts about ourselves and the suffering others! Not only thoughts but also memories of once looking in the mirror at our faces sweetly smiling back with innocent anticipation of a McDonalds. NO MORE. In preparation for a post-modern re-look at Revelationed-robotization, our current faces are facebooked/addicted into social shyness, not to be relieved by a 1970's Kumbayaah singing picnic on a green, chemical free lawn. That chapter is closed, my friend.


DELETE

Now, our poor bodies, steel-tight with earthquaked fear of the next day's news or trembling over the calories and sugar content of the morning's Starbucks or tripping out of buildings quickly when rumblings at yet another fault-line are recognized by sensitive dogs,....our battered bodies.... run on PTSD/empty seeking refuge in second-lifed, C-PAPED-accompanied nightmares.


HIDE

But wait, out of this harrowing scenario of a reality show gone bad, comes Hope?


SHIFT

PAUSE


LINDA MARY MONTANO, 2010 Saugerties, NY

Friday, April 16, 2010

Linda Montano, Student of Real Presence

by Karen Gonzalez Rice — Duke University
April 16, 2010 – 00:21


Curator's Note
In her video Linda Mary Montano: I Dreamed I Was Mother Teresa (2009), performance artist Linda Montano takes on the persona of Catholic nun and humanitarian Mother Teresa. She presents the gestures, gait, actions, and speech of this absent, beatified woman: wearing the habit of Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, she moves slowly before a handmade cross, her spine painfully curved. Accompanied by an audio track that includes singing, bells, and the voice of Mother Teresa speaking at the Philadelphia Eucharistic Conference in 1976, Montano pats a baby, bows her head in prayer, smiles, and gestures toward the camera. The video’s sepia tones and hazy surfaces locate this scene in the nostalgic past, while the obviously fake baby doll, a substitute for the real infants tended by the nun, parallels the substitution of the artist’s body for Mother Teresa.

Long recognized as a pioneer of American performance art, Montano recently has cast herself as a “Roman Catholic Performance Artist.” In Linda Mary Montano: I Dreamed I Was Mother Teresa and other new works, including St. Teresa of Avila (2007) and A Silent Three-Hour Prayer Retreat inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral (2007), Montano explicitly links her ongoing investment in religion with the medium of performance art itself. As a medium, performance art locates both the art-making subject and the art object in the body of the artist. The performance artist, then, embodies both being and doing. This media-specific insistence on embodiment and connection in time, place, and space echoes religious believers’ concerns with divine presence, as during the Catholic Eucharist, when Christ is considered actually present at the altar. Montano highlights the significance of this concept in her “Roman Catholic Performance Artist Manifesto” (2009) when she frames her commitment to the Catholic Church in terms of its status as “the Church of the Real EUCHARISTIC PRESENCE!!” Montano’s manifesto goes on to define her art practice in terms of her attention to presence: “In a spirit of research and study and dialogue and obedience, I remain a student of Real Presence.”

Montano’s work is rooted in her experience of convent life as a novice with the Maryknoll order in the early 1960s and in her return, in the late 1990s, to the Catholic faith. In her best-known performances, Montano metaphorically and metonymically enacted Catholic monastic and worship practices of endurance, self-imposed discipline, and transformative, habitual action. For example, in Art / Life One Year Performance 1983-1984 (1983-4), she was tied by an eight-foot rope to artist Tehching Hsieh for one year; her piece 7 Years of Living Art (1984-91) established a set of psychologically grueling year-long commitments that stipulated the details of her what she could wear, how she could speak, and how she should act in everyday life. By attempting to make religious experience visible, Montano’s recent performances continue her life-long engagement with Catholic forms and pivot on the complex notion of performance as presence.

http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2010/04/15/linda-montano-student-real-presence#comment-1851

Videos and texts by Linda Montano are available at her blog, on Facebook and YouTube, and at Video Data Bank.


Tags
art | performance art | religion
Comments

ETERNAL LIFE
by Barton Scott — Montana State University
April 16, 2010 – 11:08

Karen, thanks for this wonderful post, which has the added virtue of referring back to so many things that we have talked about this week: India (Mother Teresa’s Calcutta), religion and the body (as in Vince’s post), flickering filmic addresses (as in Jenna’s), and, perhaps most hauntingly, church bells (enter Isaac).

I was hoping you could say a little more about the relationship of performance art to film/ video— which, it would seem to me, threatens to undermine Montano’s insistence on divine presence. This piece seems to be, as you suggest, much more about absences and substitutions— of the doll for a real baby, of Montano for Mother Teresa. The latter’s recorded voice, meanwhile, lends a mediatized edge to what she is saying: "For it is by dying that one awakens into eternal life." I suppose similar things could be said about the eucharist as sign— a sign that also evokes and memorializes a death.

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BART, THANKS FOR RAISING THIS
by Karen Gonzalez Rice — Duke University
April 16, 2010 – 14:18

Bart, thanks for raising this really important question. The idea of presence is much-debated in film and video studies, and from my perspective as an art historian, documentations of performance art only complicate the issue. Performance art as a medium is predicated on presence in that the artist is the art object; the presence of the artist IS the artwork. The relation between the artist and the viewer is more complicated: even private performances, or artworks done for the camera alone, anticipate an audience, if only the self. For Montano, the paradox of this presence-in-absence is linked to exactly the kind of theological paradox you draw attention to with your references to eternal life and to the Eucharist.