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    Linda Mary MONTANO, USA

 

Linda Mary MONTANO, USA

Born in 1942, lives and works in New York.

Linda Mary Montano is a seminal figure in contemporary performance art and her work has since the mid 1960s been critical in the development of video art. Attempting to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, Montano continues to actively explore her art/life through shared experience, role adoption, and intricate life altering ceremonies, some of which last for seven or more years. Her artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual transformation.

Montano's first major performance, Chicken Woman (1972) was based on her MFA sculpture show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There she exhibited nine live chickens in three 8-foot (2.4 m) by 16-foot-long (4.9 m) minimalist chicken wire cages on the roof of the art building. It was titled "The Chicken Show" from 1969.[7]

After having met the Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh, she realised another historic and collaborative work in which the two artists were bound to each other by a length of rope 24 hours a day for a whole year (from July 4, 1983 to July 3, 1984).[9]

From 1984 onwards Montano did another ambitious project titled "Seven Years of Living Art", in which she lived in her home in Kingston wearing strictly monochromatic clothing, spent a portion of every day in a coloured room, and listened to a designated tone, all of which corresponded to the energetic qualities of a specific chakra.[11] She changed colour every year, and after the project was finished followed it up with "Another Seven Years of Living Art", in part to memorialise her mother, Mildred Montano, who died in 1988 of colon cancer.[12] This time she did not use the colours, but aimed to focus on the same chakras. From 1998, Montano has given cycles to other artists: MIchelle Bush, Barbara Carrellas, SC Durkin, Koosil-Ja Hwang, Vernita N'Cognita, Esther K. Smith, Krista Kelly Walsh, with satellite projects by Victoria Singh & Kurtis Champion, Steven Reigns and Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle[13] hoping to give three cycle to three arts each dating up to 2019.[14] After this, Montano focused upon freelance teaching of performance art, caring for Henry Montano (her increasingly ill father) and counseling people again practicing "Art/Life Counseling", a technique she used for seven years at The New Museum where curator Marcia Tucker had built a private room and allowed Montano to counsel people once a month in the window installation which was painted the same color that Montano wore for that year.

 

Montano’s influence is wide ranging – she has been featured at museums including The New Museum in New York, MOCA San Francisco and the ICA in London. - See more at the artists website.