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Monday, March 16, 2020

CHICKEN HISTORY

CHICKEN  HISTORY  LINDA  MARY MONTANO


My father had a story: when his mother did not allow him to go to the movies one day, he brought the chickens into their kitchen in Saugerties ny.
The story stayed with me so it was no surprising when for my MFA at the University fo Wisconsin I showed 9 chickens in 3 huge chicken cages on the roof of the new art department . Chickens were a STORY deep in my file of images. OF course there were chicken drawings and chicken sounds on car loudspeakers and a chicken sound on my 1969 answering machine!
A few years later, I was invited to a show and presenting dead, store bought chickens was an affront to all audience goers and so a graduation to myself and my husband as CHICKEN MAN AND CHICKEN WOMAN, lying in Chicken beds with gauze and 12 paper mache chickens surrounding us wearing US KEDS was a logical conceptual evolution.
Since then, the 1970's I have sat/danced/walked and appeared as Chicken Linda whenever I have the chance. I'm sure that my love for and possible past life connection to indigenous American Indians who Pow Wow and display their chicken dance prowess , has influenced me greatly. And of course there is thee added benefit of stepping outside of my everyday face/mask/persona and hiding in costume and archetype. Bawk, bawk. 
When Jennifer Zackin included me in her  RE-SEED SAUGEERTIES, I suggested that I collaborated by performing 7 CHICKEN DANCES in Saugerties, the village where I was raised and left at 17. It was a truly magnificent experience, dancing for Mother Earth,  dancing for myself so that I could be a brave Chicken Linda, dancing for Jennifer's earth project. Her documentation has resulted in a video that records the history of our performance ecstasy.
Try Chicken dancing sometime, you will love it also.
Linda Mary Montano, Saugerties  NY  February 11, 2020

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