. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Feb 27 – Linda Mary Montano: Laughing, Crying, Living Art

Posted by | mnguyen6 | Posted on | February 24, 2020

Linda Mary Montano in person

Linda Mary Montano, still from I’m Dying – My Last Performance, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and SAIC’s Video Data Bank.

Linda Mary Montano is renowned for videos and endurance-based performances that dissolve the boundaries between art and life. In works like Art/Life One Year Performance 1983–1984, a collaboration with Tehching Hsieh, she spent a year bound to the artist by an eight-foot rope; in 14 Years of Living Art (1984–98), she wore monochromatic clothing, devoted herself to meditative practice, and provided monthly “Art/Life Counseling” at the New Museum in New York (1984–91). Her transformative videos draw upon her biography, from the murder of her ex-husband in the powerfully cathartic Mitchell’s Death (1977) to the humor of the everyday. For this special evening, Montano performatively discusses her body of work, presents a selection of videos, and guides the audience through an interactive healing modality that alternates between laughing and crying, embodying the fundamentally empathic nature of her practice.

1977–2019, United States, digital video and live performance, ca 90 minutes followed by discussion.

With a background in sculpture, Zen Buddhism, and Catholicism, Linda Mary Montano turned to performance and video in the 1970s, establishing herself with endurance performances like Handcuff (1973 with Tom Marioni), and as well as a series of performance videos. From 1984 onwards, she embarked on two seven-year projects, titled 14 Years of Living Art, each conceived around the seven chakras. In 1998, she opened the Kingston Art/Life Institute and in 2005, she opened the Saugerties Art/Life Institute and Transfiguration Hospital to teach others her approach to merging art and life. Recent exhibitions include Linda Mary Montano: Always Creative, SITE: Santa Fe, New Mexico (2003); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and MoMA PS1, New York; and The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860–1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. She is the author of seven books, including Letters from Linda M. Montano, (Routledge, 2005) and Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties (University of California Press, 2000).