In performances over the past several decades, Linda Montano has steadily sought to erase the barriers between “art” and “life.” Her demonstrations of the theory that attitude, intent, and awareness are what transform “life” into “art” can be viewed as a terminal assault on the art-as-commodity establishment, redefining art as a vigilant state-of-mind. The history of Linda Montano’s performances reads almost as a scientific investigation (or transgression) of the limits of previous conceptions of “art.” Themes have been “endurance, transformation, attention states, hypnosis, eating disorders, death, as well as obliterating distinctions between “art/life.”
Linda Montano has written a number of books (including Art in Everyday Life and Before and After Art/Life Counseling), produced 20 videotapes, and created over 50 major performances. He newest book (537 pages) on performance art is Performance Artists Talking Iin the 80’s, published by U.C. Press, Berkeley. It includes a Preface by Montano, and Introduction by Angelika Festa; Introduction to sex interviews by Christine Tamblyn; Introduction to food interviews by Moira Roth; Introduction to money/fame interviews by Laura Cottingham; and Introduction to ritual/death interviews by Lucy Lippard. The Afterword is by Kristine Stiles. There are 80 interviews with performance artists compiled by Montano and 29 illustrations of performances. Martha Wilson writes: “Linda Montano, artist and founder of the Art/Life Institute, is a shaman of the postmodern age. These interviews on sex, food, money/fame, and ritual/death cut to the heart of our epistemological inklings of our purpose on the planet.”
Eyewitness Account: Appreciating The Chakras by Linda Montano
Linda Montano’s performance Appreciating The Chakras was one in a 12-month series of durational performance art works by artists from the UK, US and Canada.