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Tuesday, September 26, 2017



GYM: THE NEW CHURCH : Linda Mary Montano 2017

"Love, safety, belongingness and respect from other people are almost panaceas for the situational disturbances and even for some of the mild character disturbances. " Abraham Maslow.

It's a given that community is a need, necessity and path to health. Early peoples gathered around fires to stay safe and warm, knowing they needed each other to survive, to get fed, to live another day. Conversely we think we need nothing, we need no one because we buy our GMO food, buy our disgruntled friends, we retreat to our caves with our  iPhone-family but although we think we have it all, deep down there is a biological need to Actually congregate, check in with each other and perform choreographed rituals of inclusion.

A ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence".[1] Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance.
Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia,[citation needed] are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello may be termed rituals.

We might ask, "Where can we get this need for belongingness met?" In the July 6, 2017 issue of Catholic New York, it was noted that 17 Catholic Churches were "relegated" as no longer sacred sites but could be used for profane but not sordid activities. That is, they could be leased, sold or assumed by another Christian denomination. This is not the time, place or venue to ponder why so many Catholic churches are no longer in use, no longer needed. You know the answers, I'm not saying. So maybe we could divert our gaze from that conversation to the GYM: The New Church of the Millennials. 

A gym, also referred as gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "fitness center", which is often an indoor facility.
Gymnasia apparatus such as barbells, parallel bars, jumping board, running path, tennis-balls, cricket field, fencing area, and so forth are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conducive to health. Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included Gymnastica militaria or self-defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and gymnastica athletica for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dancing.
These gymnasia also had teachers of wisdom and philosophy. Community gymnastic events were done as part of the celebrations during various village festivals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of contempt, "He can neither swim nor write." After a while, however, Olympic athletes began training in buildings just for them. Community sports never became as popular among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a preparation for military service or spectator sports. During the Roman Empire, the gymnastic art was forgotten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fighting tournaments and of chivalry; and after gunpowder was invented sword fighting began to be replaced by the sport of fencing. There were schools of dagger fighting and wrestling and boxing.
Is it all Louise Hay's fault? Did her voluminous self-help tomes make pastors/priests/deacons/saints of us all?  Did she give us keys to a new way of touching the Source/The Higher Power by showing us how to reach into our own Divine Soul via looking into a mirror and worshipping the self? And what better place to do this than a GYM! That's where these newly installed goddesses/gods maintain their inexhaustible energy/courage/gusto/chi/ki/strength/divine fabulousness. Ta dahhhh, at THE CHURCH OF THE GYM!  This building of sweat-aholics provides  some 15 hours a day  access to bikes/weights/rowing machines/classes/and all this for a pittance when compared to what you might be expected to tithe at real churches. In comparison, the gym-church is a bargain.

A tithe (/ˈtð/; from Old English: teogoþa "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products. Several European countries operate a formal process linked to the tax system allowing some churches to assess tithes.
Traditional Jewish law and practice has included various forms of tithing since ancient times. Orthodox Jews commonly practice ma'aser kesafim (tithing 10% of their income to charity). In modern Israel, Jews continue to follow the laws of agricultural tithing, e.g., ma'aser rishon, terumat ma'aser, and ma'aser sheni. In Christianity, some interpretations of Biblical teachings conclude that although tithing was practiced extensively in the Old Testament, it was never practiced or taught within the first-century Church. Instead, the New Testament scriptures are seen as teaching the concept of "freewill offerings" as a means of supporting the church.



  1. The passive-aggressive instructor who unnecessarily turns on cold air AC to blow on already raynauded/agitated and  stumbling  seniors in the class.  How to cure? Send Tonglen to the instructor and all of the shivering/suffering elders.


Tonglen (Tibetan: གཏོང་ལེན་Wylie: gtong len, or tonglen) is Tibetan for 'giving and taking' (or sending and receiving), and refers to a meditation practice found in Tibetan Buddhism.
In the practice, one visualizes taking in the suffering of oneself and of others on the in-breath, and on the out-breath giving recognition, compassion, and succor to all sentient beings. As such it is a training in altruism.
The function of the practice is to:
2. The hardly can walk-with- overdeveloped/ testesteroned/ muscled  instructor who calls the 5 elderly/kephosised/ grey haired elders in his class;  GRANNIES!
How to cure? Send Loving Kindness to him and the women-elders.


Mettā meditation, or often loving-kindness meditation, is the practice concerned with the cultivation of Mettā, i.e. benevolence, kindness and amity. The practice generally consists of silent repetitions of phrases like “may you be happy” or “may you be free from suffering”, for example directed at a person who, depending on tradition, may or may not be internally visualized.


3. The highly developed/bosomed woman instructor who narcissistically enjoys her mammary endowments via the mirrored wall in front of her. We are not there for her. Her body is. How to cure me for even caring?


The Jesus Prayer (Greek: Η Προσευχή του Ιησού, i prosefchí tou iisoú; Syriac: ܨܠܘܬܐ ܕܝܫܘܥ ‎, Amharic, Geez and Tigrinya: እግዚኦ መሐረነ ክርስቶስ,Slotho d-Yeshu' , ) or "The Prayer" (Greek: Η Ευχή, i efchí̱ – literally "The Wish") is a short formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated especially within the Eastern churches:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Orthodox Church. The ancient and original form did not include the words, "a sinner," which were added later. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the eremitic tradition of prayer known as Hesychasm (Ancient Greek: ἡσυχάζω, isycházo, "to keep stillness"). The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition (see Philokalia) as a method of opening up the heart (kardia) and bringing about the Prayer of the Heart (Καρδιακή Προσευχή). The Prayer of The Heart is considered to be the Unceasing Prayer that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament. St. Theophan the Recluse regarded the Jesus' Prayer stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name of Jesus.


4. The Venus of Willendorfed/statuesque/busting out of her Yoga pants instructor who elicits gasps of unexhaled  ecstasy from both male/female/transgendered students who push/shove and sink to the level of rude in order to get their Yoga matt near her "spot" in the front of the class.  Making a purposefull mistake will bring her to you for a correction, I noticed. The cure?


The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of Moha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion, ill will).[1][2] These three poisons are considered to be three afflictions or character flaws innate in a being, the root of Taṇhā (craving), and thus in part the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and rebirths.

l5. The fictional/non-fictional list goes on:
The Zumba teacher who can't keep/step in time.
The one who once worked at an autistic institute and now loudly barks at us, "smile!"
 The shouting, militaristic/fascistic instructor.
 The one who keeps the music a decibel above causing permanent inner ear damage.
The ex-high school teacher who shouts, incessantly entertains and doesn't like to teach.
The one who can't help making lewdish innuendoes.
The instructor who sweats green under his arms onto his shirt.
The cure?


Athletic and exercise venues of all sorts - schools, colleges, YMCAs, private gyms (such as the Vic Tanny chain), and professional sports teams - acquired Universal Gym machines to supplement or replace free weights.
Zinkin wrote later, "If I'm proud of anything, it's that machine and the fact that there probably isn't one professional athlete in the world who hasn't worked out on a Universal at least once."
Universal also offered single-exercise machines, and smaller units for home use. With its strong brand recognition, Universal also made and sold other fitness equipment, including free weights, weight lifting benches, and machines for cardiovascular exercise.


We cant all have  home gyms and so The local Church of The Gym and training ground for true happiness is for some, the only option. But like all options,  all operas, all dramas, all day to day interactions, it is not only the instructors, the patriarchs in charge, that need a microscopic cleaning, it is us as well . For we, the participants are as tainted, as wrong, as irksome, as bothersome, as lost as our instructor-guides at The Church of the Gym.  We (not I, of course) are a bunch of:

profuse sweaters
in crowders
mean gossipers
off balanced elders
buffed teenagers
energy magnetizers
pushy OCD-ers
water wasting  showerers
bad breathers
stinky  underarmers
maddening mumblers
rude pushers
iPhone abusers
loud mouthers
show offers
mental sabatogers
Yoga class farters
enemy avoiders
equipment ruiners
germ spreaders
bathroom stinkers
silent unforgivers
anorexied dieters
nursing home avoiders
clumbsy seniors
lewd starers
social gabbers
annoying coughers
sloppy dressers
sweaty chair stainers
nipple starers
fierce overachievers
hysterical competitors
chidcare overusers
muscle injurers
cancer survivors
self hurters
tight pants wearers
falling inattentioners
loud gabbers
exhibitionistic winners
non talkers
earbudded listeners
TV watchers
camel toers
medical info traders
nursing home avoiders
millennial flirters
women/men trollers
assisted living preppers
sciaticaed limpers
ailment complainers
teacher butter-uppers
nose blowers
butt leerers
serial socializers
endurance pushers
sex yearners
over extenders
attention demanders
entry cheaters
performance comparers
greedy space takers
bum sweating chair stainers
reckless weight lifters
judgmental non-forgivers
dangerous  weight-bar  droppers
sweat dribblers
equipment bogarters


5. It is inevitable that you might walk into a Gym and witness one of the above displays of WRONG or be one of the above on any given day. But remember at  The Church of the Gym, there is always a cure. Don't bogart!!!!


6.  I often ask myself on my way to the gym how I can practice one of the above get out of jail prayers that I cited earlier? I know that I will see ______________ and she will drive me cray-cray today so I have to say, "Remember to do tonglen, or do metta, or send angels, or at least smile!!!  Be nice, talk nice Linda. " But then I see one of the rules being broken ( see list  above) or I see __________ and I remember, since the age of 7, having to tell my sins every Saturday in that smelly confessional box and these people have to know that I am a sin-detective and I see theirs, that's for sure. Note the list above perchance to see how much I really do see!! Why is that? I wish I could go there, do the sweating, enjoy the scene and leave in gratitude. But having been taught to pay attention to negative patterns at that early age of 7, I am over trained and certainly ready, willing and able, to correct them, not me, for anything they do in and out of the Gym-Church. How I cure my propensity for power.


The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Penance, Reconciliation, or Confession) is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church (called sacred mysteries in the Eastern Catholic Churches), in which the faithful obtain absolution for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church.[a] By this sacrament Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism.[1] The sacrament of Penance is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sin, by which one would otherwise condemn oneself to Hell.
As Scriptural basis for this sacrament, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back" (1445; John 20:23).


7.  TO CONCLUDE. I leave the Church of the Gym with new eyes  having seen and confessed all of the sins enacted there. I did it so they don't have to confess or even have to know that they are disruptive and that they are bothering ME!  The coast is clear, air is decontaminated, all is well and I now:

a. KINDLY : SMILE when I smell the underarms of sweaty, teenage young men.
b. KINDLY : SMILE when I see proud mothers guiding 3 year olds, in tutus, into the daycare room.
c.  KINDLY : SMILE when I hear unbearably loud music-sounds coming from the bicycle room.
d. KINDLY : SMILE when I see Bob giving George a hug, congratulating him on the success of his brain surgery.



"All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”  Saint Julian of Norwich


Linda Mary Montano 2017..........May we all be  happy.




Nina Isabelle says:  I am a feminist artist because I'm stubborn, clever, nurturing and resilient.



Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities for men.

Valerie Sharp says:  I am a feminist artist because I recognize my inner power and know I can create change.

Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.

Jennifer Zackin says:  I am a feminist artist because  I am home.

Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have often been part of feminist movements.

Elizabeth Lamb says: I am a feminist artist because I work to look carefully and listen deeply.

Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property

Jodie Lynn-Kee Chow says: I am a feminist artist because I believe that women artists should have equal rights in society, equal opportunities, and equal if not more pay than men.

Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women's rights, some feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims because men are also harmed by traditional gender roles.

IV Castellanos says: I am a feminist artist because I wanted to breathe the same air as everyone else...equally, whole, complete and within sameness for all people.

Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues concerning gender.
Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, and college-educated perspectives. This criticism led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, including black feminism and intersectional feminism.

Linda Mary Montano says: I am not sure I am a feminist artist or even a female artist!  I just do what I have to do so that I can survive day to day. I call what I do art but I hope that what I do heals me and looks natural, and is so disguised  that it looks like life itself.  I am nothing.




moon = skin
sun   =  flesh

slice  me!!!!

I bleed  






ORACLE has its own video recap now and it looks great



DAD ART PERFORMANCE/HEALING COLLAGE is an opportunity for a willing community to see, learn about, interact with and experience aesthetically/performatively the old age, sickness and death of my father Henry Joseph Montano as life/art. In coming into contact with another person's life story and their eventual death, we will see, be reminded of and participate in the feelings associated with our own deaths. That is important work.
 The video is a document of the time I took care of my father from 1998-2005 in Saugerties NY, after I left  UT Austin.

Death, a tabooed subject and not always out of the closet of fear and dread, must be aesthetically exposed/experienced as the natural event that it is. Why? To prepare us courageously for our own inevitable deaths and help us all make some alliance and friend with that fact. We all share life and we all will experience the end game. Let us collectively help each other do that.
I have found that by opening doors to the SUBJECT of death, I am asking death  for  friendship and knowledge and understanding. In doing so,
my personal spiritual journey and curiosity are becoming educated to our natural and shared human situation. A good thing, I think..


1. One or two MC's. They will have/use a whistle or a suitable hand held/blown noise device so that they interrupt the "solemnity" of both the images on video and performative actions with a festivity/jesterlyness but  dignified sacredness.
2. The secretary who writes down "letters to death" dictated by the audience members who come onstage and visit the secretary at their desk. The secretary can instruct the audience member what to do. The audience member talks, the secretary writes. All letters begin with DEAR DEATH........
3. The water-giver. One person who offers water to audience members who come to them for healing "water." It can be  a glass of water, a spritz of rose water from a spritz bottle, a bowl of water that the audience member drinks from or puts their finger in to bring to a place on their body that needs healing. The exact way the water person wants to share water  is designed by them. The water giver instructs the audience member what to do.
4. Two grief counselors  sit in front of empty chairs and when an audience member sits down across from them, they listen to stories of death told by members of the audience visiting them onstage at the death-counselor station. They can say," Do you want to tell me about death?" Then they just listen.  No advice is needed from the counselors.
5. The audience members come to the mic to say the name of the person they are remembering who has died.  Or  the mic can be  passed around in the audience by the MC's. They are welcome to say the names of people who have died who they want to remember. Or they can say this: IM SORRY...... I FORGIVE YOU AND I FORGIVE MYSELF. Their choice. The MC occasionally helps this to happen. If there is a written program handed out to the audience before the event, this will be written in the program so they can read it.
6. The singer. Montano will sing 7 songs, one every 20 minutes to honor and remember her father's love of music, his time in his band where he played trumpet. My mother sang in this band as well.  The MC calls me to the microphone to  sing 7 times at designated and equally spaced times, keeping track of the correct times to invite me to sing.
7. The parade leader will come up at the end of the performance and lead us all outside so we can burn the letters to death in a container. There can be many parade leaders. They also lead us in dancing ADDICTED TO LOVE via a boombox sound system after the burning of the letters. They can make festive parade "flags" or have sticks with yarn on them and other attractive things to bring attention to the parade's actions.  Musical  Instruments/singing can be included if they want. The parade person/persons come into the performance space and invite people to follow them via verbal instruction or if the mood needs they can use hand gestures/silence.  If the atmosphere calls for it, all can walk out in silence. The parade person/persons need to be sensitive to the mood needed at the time. This instruction/invitation can also be  included in the program notes.

All is happening simultaneously.  There is no fixed focus. All can be talked over/interrupted. There are no mistakes  possible in this experience because it is an event of natural occurrences/intensely seen and felt truths and over-lapping experiences. Collectively we will be supporting each other and learning together a new language.


FRONT STAGE/MID STAGE: The  MC's will stand and move around and interact with the audience. They will either share a mic or there will be two mics for the MC's.  The second or third mic will be set for reverb/digital delay for Linda when she sings and also for audience when they come up to say the names of their deceased friends.

TO THE RIGHT OF THE MC'S  FACING THE AUDIENCE: There will be four chairs next to each other. The two grief counselors will sit in two of them, side-ways to audience. Audience members will sit in the empty chairs to talk with the grief counsellors who, by the way, are just listening to stories. They have no need to know how to counsel.
The MC's will see when there is a need for an audience member to come to a chair or go to the water station or to write a letter. They will keep the flow going but in a  very scared and "ritualistic" manner.

BACK STAGE/ RIGHT BACK: There is a table. The letters to death secretary will sit with their back to the audience with a death mask on the back of their head. They face the person sitting in a chair  while they write the letters. They need paper and a pen to write with. Table and two chairs.

BACK STAGE/BACK LEFT: The water giver is in  back of a table. Standing. On the table are the things they choose to use to offer water to audience members.

LEFT STAGE/ FRONT: Microphone is there for audience members who want to honor their friends with their friend's name or do the I'm Sorry incantation. But also they can do this when the MC's pass their mic to the siting audience. I will use this microphone when I come up to sing so the mic has to be calibrated for my need to have reverb or digital delay.

Each station can be lit from above, shining down except for the MC's and singer . But lighting needs to be sufficiently bright enough so that it is possible for audience members to walk safely onto the stage.

There are 4 layers of sound:
1.  Sound from the video.
2.  Sound from the MC's mic on a mic stand.
3. Sound from my mic on a mic stand, adjusted for delay/reverb.
4. Sound for the "music" that I sing. I sing along with either a trumpet or a guitar accompaniment. I will bring a cd of this music. It is to be calibrated so whenever I get up to sing and indicate a signal to begin, the "next" song is played.
5. Sound for ADDICTED TO LOVE outside around the fire which can be a campfire if you wish. This  sound can be on a boombox, or anything simple but loud.

As we walk onstage, there will be a you tube of bird sound/images, low volume already playing as people come into the theatre.
Each actor will go to the standing mic  center stage and say their name and will simply say what they will be  doing.
We go to our stations and perform the actions, not "paying attention" to the video onscreen because you will have seen it before the night of the performance via you tube or vimeo. It is important that everyone pay attention to their action and not to the screen or anyone else's action. This concentration will help make the energy of the performance more focused.
At the end of the video, after the credits, the parade people will come to gather each of us and we leave via the front door while humming one note.  Parade people also gather the audience members and we all go outside, form a circle around the burning container and the secretary puts the letters one by one into the fire. After the LETTERS TO DEATH are  burned,  we then all dance to ADDICTED TO LOVE. THE END.

Please see Robert Graham's ADDICTED TO LOVE  youtube before the performance. Please wear:
1. BLACK CLOTHES: As nice as possible. Everything black.
2. GREAT SHOES: In keeping with a "funeral home" look. Black. Don't buy anything but they need to look good/polished.
3. FABULOUS HAIR OR WIG: Very Glamour/Vogue. Cover all tattoos. Somber but Glam look.
4. EXCESSIVE MAKEUP: So it looks glamorous.
5. SUNGLASSES:  Can be taken on and off, but walk out with them on/leave with them on. If you need to take them off to make eye contact with an audience member at your station, please feel free to do so. Healing contact is most important.
6. Please bring you costume to the rehearsal. More than one if you have a question.

1. Four chairs for grief counsellors.
2. Table and two chairs for secretary. Paper and pen for letter writing.
3. Table and water props for water giver.
4. Sound makers for MC's.
5. Festive things for parade leaders.

1. DVD
2. CD of trumpet/ guitar.
3. Costume and wig, sunglasses and make up.



Linda Mary Montano









I Slept With Linda Montano:  Paul Couillard

I Slept With Linda Montano:  Paul Couillard

I Slept with Linda Montano
Paul Couillard [1]

PC: Given your history in performance, I wanted to start by asking whether you see a distinction between performance or art and life?

Linda Montano: Until I wrote a recipe that indicated that every minute was performance, there was a distinction. In 1984 I appropriated all time as performance time or art, meaning every minute of my life was an opportunity for that kind of higher--not higher--but that kind of consciousness, a kind of awareness or--sacredness is a word that is laden--but that kind of sacredness. Before 1984 I made attempts, but they were for a week or a month or for shorter periods of time. In '84 I designed it so that the rest of my life will be in a work of art.

PC: So, everything you do is art because you've consciously identified it as that?

LM: Yes.

PC: Are there other things wrapped up in that, like a sense of discipline or a certain kind of awareness you try to bring to things?

LM: It's almost like... There's a massage form called Reiki, and in Reiki, there's a little bit of study, maybe a weekend workshop and three levels. Then there's this so-called initiation, and it's really an initiation into nothingness. It's so simple; it's just a laying on of hands. It's not as if it's a complicated massage form. And for me it was just a matter of consciously setting up the parameters that allowed me to incorporate, appropriate, grab all time as art.

PC: I was wondering about discipline.

LM: In the beginning it was about discipline. I had to do this, this, this and this for numbers of hours and days and weeks and months. Then I found that the overall intentionality worked to incorporate my needs, and the disciplines were really my own ego struggling, pushing. So when I lightened up and stopped pushing so much and creating boundaries and formulas, the permission to live in the state of art loosened me up. I started making more things that looked like traditional art because I was free. Before, it was always this sort of guilt of not being in the studio, not producing enough, not working -- which comes out of an art school training or a western model of abundance and consumerism. How can you say you're something if there's no product? When I took that away, I actually started producing, which is always an interesting kind of contrast. But given my philosophy, there's no need for production, because I am in the state of art, so to speak, at all times.

PC: Why was it important for you to identify what you were doing as art?

LM: Art gave me the same kinds of pleasures and aesthetic ecstasy as the Church used to give me. And because a woman is denied priesthood in Roman Catholicism, I knew instinctively that I would never be able to be a ritual-maker.

PC: Do you make distinctions? For example, when I contacted you about TIME TIME TIME,[1] I told you I was looking at durational performance and I wanted to present a series of pieces that were at least 12 hours long. You could have said, "well, I'm doing that right now" or "I'll come to Toronto and just be Linda Montano", but instead you organized a specific event with an audience component to it that could be published or announced. Is there a distinction to be made between performing a piece called Appreciating the Chakras and being in your kitchen making dinner?

LM: Sometimes you eat chocolate cake with raspberries on it, and sometimes you have a rice cake. Doing a performance like Appreciating the Chakras is the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. It's a luxury, not necessary, but certainly something fun that I am still interested in. I see it as a night out.

PC: In calling everything you do art, and thinking of what you do as being an artist, do you think an artist necessarily has an audience? Is there a relationship between artist and audience?

LM: I think it's changing with computers and websites and so on. It's becoming a virtual audience -- a non-visible, non-visual, non-physical audience. Then there's the audience of rumor, the audience of legend and gossip--"oh isn't that the person that, you know..." being known for one piece. There is a hunger now for community, for bodily closeness, for performance. But there's also a plethora of taste. Things have gotten so specific to the person, that the people who will come to see a particular piece are drawn chemically by the taste of that person. The flavor of the piece coincides with the flavor of the audience members. I think there are a lot of different levels of audience, unless it's a person or a piece that has such a following or such a need to be seen. Other than that, I think that as performance artists we draw the audience with the taste that corresponds with ours.

PC: In an interview you did before the Toronto show, you mentioned that one of the aspects of maturing as artists -- I wasn't sure whether you meant specifically in performance art or just for yourself as an individual -- was accepting or recognizing that not all audiences are going to love what you do, or have to like what you do.

LM: I think that's an important lesson to learn, not getting attached to numbers of people in the audience, not getting attached to being loved, so that you can really do the work for the right motivation. Hopefully the timing of the work is right. I really think a lot of it is about the presenter. If the presenter is coming from the right place and is well loved in the community and does a good job of making the artist comfortable, the audience can feel that and they respond. I think it's a real collaboration, because you can do something in the right place with the wrong kind of treatment or atmosphere, and it's not a good time for anyone. Sometimes it's not the artist so much that's drawing the crowd, but the presenter.

PC: When you do a piece, what are you hoping the audience will get? Or does that matter?

LM: Community -- that they'll have a place where they can wash their subconscious of ideas or fears or taboos, and a place where they can touch a kind of magical sacredness, have a spiritual high. Moving through matter and the dirt and detritus of matter as a jumping-off place to this ecstasy.

PC: Do you have any thoughts about the element of time in your work? I chose you for TIME TIME TIME because I was familiar with the fact that you had done a seven-year project of exploring the chakras, where every moment of every day for quite a substantial length of time was devoted to or charged with the intent of the particular project you were working on.

LM: Working with time allows for a timelessness. You almost have to grab time to go out of time. Focus and concentration and discipline and spaciousness all happen at the same time when you work with endurance and time. It inhibits scatteredness. It inhibits shallowness. It helps us to go to places that change brain waves, literally. If something's done for a long period of time, then brain chemistry changes. All of those things interest me.

PC: I was very intrigued by the way you chose to structure what we called the 'piece' Appreciating the Chakras. Essentially, there were two parts. The first part of 3 1/2 hours was a soundscape that people could enter or leave as they wished, just soaking in the energy of it. The second part required a different level of commitment on the part of the people who were involved. They were no longer participating spectators; they were being what they were being. You asked us, in a sense, to sleep together.

LM: "I've slept with Linda Montano."

PC: (Laughing) I'll bet you have! In the morning, when we were ending the performance, one of the things you spoke about was that there was a sense of community created in our being together, just in doing a simple action together like sleeping. But people had to commit to be there for that 7-hour period and not leave in the middle, whereas the first part was set up so that anyone could come and go.

LM: A lot of that was just practical safety, in terms of doors opening and closing, people coming in, and protecting the space. Because people were sleeping, the space had to be different, so the parameters were different. But time is energy. We are energy. And energy needs a lot of attention. If we're busy, if there's a divorce from energy, then it’s like not being nurtured, not getting enough food. All of these actions are vehicles. They're designed to produce the effect of feeling aliveness and energy -- and maybe, if there is such a thing, a chemical shift in the brain where it's touching bliss or sacredness.

PC: Is it fair to say that what's involved is a commitment to acknowledging and working with the particular energy of time?

LM: When you translate time, the next word you get after time is death -- because time is so mysterious and it's all about the race against time, or time out, or time is over, or time is up, etc. Time is a real piece of the puzzle that nature holds and has control of. When artists play with time, they're playing with God's toy, nature's toy. It wasn't designed for us to play with, but artists never play with anything that isn't sacred. Or, it's the artist's prerogative to go into that playground. Time brings up issues of dying and of death. And of impermanence and of change and of flux and of loss. "Time marches on." "I don't have enough time for that." It seems to dog us and nip at our heels and run after us. We don't have enough of it, but when the focus changes, when the artist uses time as a material -- a clay to mold -- the artist can use that material to reach timelessness -- no-time. And no-time is bliss or ecstasy or energy, pure energy.

[1] Paul Couillard is the director of FADO, an alternative space in Toronto, Canada. This interview took place in conjunction with a festival entitled TIME TIME TIME, a twelve month series of durational performances by artists from the US, UK, and Canada curated by Couillard. Montano’s contribution Appreciating the Chakras took place from January 30-31 in the Canadia dell’Arte Theater Troupe Studio Space. The title, I Slept With Linda Montano, refers to the 7- hour endurance, Chakra Sleepover/Workshop, Montano offered as part of the event. The unedited interview can be found at http://www.performanceart.ca/.