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Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art

Jennifer Fisher

2004 00:22:13 United StatesEnglishColorMono4:3Video


Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art is a video catalog of the artist’s exhibition, performance and workshop in Montreal in 2003. Produced in the context of a retrospective exhibition at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, the video presents a close view of Montano’s signture art/life counseling performance, interviews with participants, and views of the artworks in situ. It also documents Montano’s performance pedagogy during her all-night sleepover workshop which was collaboratively hosted by La Centrale and Rad’a.

The events in Montreal stem from Montano’s durational performance, 14 Years of Living Art. Each year from 1984 until 1998 the artist aligned her actions and affective states with the colors and qualities of a specific chakra. The video gives an intimate view of the artist’s consciousness and the concerns resulting from her sustained exploration of the yogic chakra system. Montano’s work explores the territory between the merged and discrete self: the borders of physical, mental, sexual and spiritual embodiment. Her performances involve intricate life-altering practices. She is interested in the way artistic rituals can be used to alter and enhance a person’s life and create opportunities to focus attention and energy. She has woven together utopian strains of transpersonal psychology with the surrealist belief in the transformative power of art. The use of costume, colors and tones were intended to shift her consciousness and, in her words, “train the mind not to wander, shop around or buy into the millions of distractions that impinge minute-to-minute.”

Montano’s distinctly ascetic approach emerges from the confluence of Dada, Happenings, her mystical training as a novice for the Maryknoll nuns, and her practice of yoga.

About Jennifer Fisher

Jennifer Fisher is a Montreal based curator, writer and teacher. She is a founding member of the curatorial collaborative DisplayCult which produced CounterPoses (1998), The Servant Problem (2000), Vital Signs (2000), Museopathy (2001), and Linda Montano: 14 Years of Living Art (2003). Her writings focus on performance in art practice and exhibitions, cultural studies approaches to contemporary art, and the aesthetics of the non-visual senses. She teaches in the graduate program in fine arts at Concordia University.