Religion/Spirituality

2016
Linda M Montano 2016: An Interview

Linda Montano is interviewed by Janet Dees, Curator at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, Northwestern University.

Since the 1960s, Linda Montano has aimed to blur the distinction between art and life with her performance and video work. Delving deep into subjects like death, spirituality and personal trauma, she is seen as an influential figure in feminist performance art.

1974
The Lord of the Universe

Sixteen-year-old guru Marahaj Ji attempts to levitate the Houston Astrodome in this 1973 DuPont award winning documentary. Follow the guru from his New York mansion to limousines in Houston and listen to his followers—celebrities and non-celebrities alike—extol his virtues. TVTV's creative use of graphics, live music, and wide-angle-lens shots to conveys the desperate efforts of these lost children to find a leader.

"If this guy is God, then this is the God the United States of America deserves." —Abbie Hoffman

2010
Love Rose

A surreal vision of one man's endeavor to contact the spirit world and come to terms with nightmares of a mysterious death.  A séance is orchestrated according to instructions written in 1920 by revered parapsychologist Hereward Carrington, voiced here by novelist Lynne Tillman.  Roses, seen as light by spirits, are placed in the room but these flowers are plastic;  a requisite round table is surrounded by wooden chairs that remain empty despite stern warnings to never sit alone.

1991
Matsushima Ondo

Combining collage and animation with an Asian-influenced soundtrack, images of women dancing sensually and devotional imagery, Matsushima Ondo compares religious devotion with sexual representation. The viewer is invited to make connections and recognize the irony in some of the similarities.

2017
Mike Kuchar "Meat with Bones"

He is Earth, Sky, and the Universe. He is Creation's creator.

1987
Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

2001
Miracle

A thirty-three minute video odyssey documenting one woman's search for the miracle of the Virgin Mary. A must-see for recovering Catholics and their families and friends worldwide. From Italy to Portugal, from France to Georgia, from Iowa City to Peru, Miracle recovers a newly-minted set of the Seven Deadly Sins on the way to immortalizing the latest modern religious trend: "Spiritual Tourism." Rated S for satirical.

1977
Mitchell's Death

Using performance as a means of personal transformation and catharsis, Mitchell’s Death mourns the death of Montano’s ex-husband. Every detail of her story, from the telephone call announcing the tragedy, to visiting the body, is chanted by Montano as her face, pierced by acupuncture needles, slowly comes into focus then goes out again. The chanting is reminiscent of Buddhist texts, while the needles signify the pain that is necessary for healing and understanding.

2018
NightWars, Mike Kuchar

It is evening and Heaven sends forth an army of angels to fight moral wars. Good luck!

1998
O Night Without Objects

O Night Without Objects, A Trilogy explores the relationship of conversion experiences - therapeutic, political and religious - to technology, fear and family.  The segments are stylistically diverse, employing theatrical, documentary and narrative means.  When viewed as a trilogy each segment informs and reinforces the common thematic concerns of the others, however, any segment may be distributed or viewed independently.  This film was produced during an artists’ residency at Xerox Parc, designed to bring artists and new technology research scientists together.

2009
Obsessive

A boy endures sleepless nights of desire and obsession in this haunting visualization of erotic possession.

1995
Obsessive Becoming

This surreal, free-form autobiography is concerned with childhood and adult rituals, and the longing for meaning and connection during the often wildly absurd events of early life. Obsessive Becoming returns to Reeves’s early exploration of personal narrative forms, poetry, and his interest in creating a more spontaneous and direct fusion between language and video. Words and images of the expectations and disappointments of coming of age break down the boundaries of both mediums.

1982
On Death and Dying

Three nuns in dark sunglasses sit at a table playing cards while a nurse is inteviewed about "what death looks like” on the soundtrack. As the nurse speaks, in medical detail, of death as a natural process, the nuns sit with party hats on their heads and light birthday candles stuck in bananas. On Death and Dying is a mocking and macabre look at the institutions of death—how hospitals and religions “manage” death. The tape resolves in the conclusion that “death is a job that you do by yourself.”

2010
Opal Essence

He sighs for strange and hidden cities whose walls are pink stone, inlaid with opals, ebony and silver, and for altars where the body is worshiped under the shrine of night.

2004
Pagans in a Christian World

People with one foot in Heaven and the other foot in Hell, holding on to Purgatory, and needing a "date" that could bring them back to the altar, and a renewed faith.