Linda Montano Opening Performance: Singing My Heart Out
Considered a central figure in contemporary performance art, Linda Mary Montano has been at the forefront of avant-garde performance‚ÄĒfrom exhibiting live chickens to living an exclusively monochromatic life for seven years in ‚ÄúSeven Years of Living Art,‚ÄĚ and the self-explanatory ‚ÄúThree Day Blindfold‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒfor the last 40 years.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve been there, done that,‚ÄĚ Montano tells SFR.
This Friday, Montano partakes in a triad of exhibitions at SITE Santa Fe, including State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 in which her work is featured, and a solo show titled Always Creative that concentrates on the breadth of the former nun‚Äôs work.
‚ÄúHer work, basically, is the idea of art/life,‚ÄĚ SITE assistant curator Janet Dees explains. ‚ÄúThe premise is to investigate the relationship between art and life, and blur the lines between them.‚ÄĚ
Notable is how the artist will present her work to Santa Fe‚Äôs culturati: with a site-specific ‚Äúendurance performance‚ÄĚ that features the artist center stage on a hydraulic scissor lift, belting Linda Ronstadt and Raka Mukherjee songs.
The attraction to Ronstadt, Montano explains, developed when she first moved to California and was exposed to her music. A fascination quickly developed.
‚ÄúI made believe I was her, and that became one of the components of this‚ÄĒwhat I call ‚Äėcreative schizophrenia‚Äô‚ÄĒwhere I become many different people,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúOne of the people that I become is a kind of cloned Linda Ronstadt country/western singer.‚ÄĚ
Montano‚Äôs love affair with music has been a lifelong one. Her father, a first-generation Italian immigrant, did ‚Äúeverything in order to put food on the table‚ÄĚ of their New York home. Including starting a band.
‚ÄúI have this real connection to this image of my parents‚ÄĒmy Dad in a tux and my Mom in these ‚Äė30s and ‚Äė40s nightgownish-looking frocks that her mother handmade for her,‚ÄĚ Montano reminisces. ‚ÄúMusic was a big influence. Mother played piano and we sang. Music was a real healing phenomenon in the family.‚ÄĚ
About the only time her singing became a negative issue was during a short-lived stint as a nun. ‚ÄúThey came up to me and said: ‚ÄėSister Rose, this is not a nightclub, so when you‚Äôre singing the Divine Office, please keep your voice down,‚Äô‚ÄĚ she says with a laugh.
Dubbed Singing My Heart Out, the spectacle will see Montano ascending to seven levels within SITE‚Äôs structure, one per hour‚ÄĒa continuation of one of the ever-present themes in her latest work: the seven chakras, as well as an ode to her strict Roman Catholic upbringing.
‚ÄúSin and crucifixion were my food,‚ÄĚ Montano says of her upbringing. ‚ÄúThe seven hours is also a reference to this kind of penitential, Catholic paradigm,‚ÄĚ she muses.
Audience participation is not only allowed, it‚Äôs encouraged, so start rehearsing that riveting performance of ‚ÄúBlue Bayou‚ÄĚ you‚Äôve been meaning to share with the world.
If you‚Äôd rather save your pipes for a springtime debut, a special follow-up performance titled
Singing My Heart In is scheduled for the show‚Äôs closing on Friday, May 17.
‚ÄúOne of the only times my heart is happy is when I‚Äôm singing, and so I try to incorporate as much singing as possible in my performances,‚ÄĚ Montano says. (Enrique Lim√≥n)
Thursday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm
Friday: 10 am - 7 pm
Sunday: 12 - 5 pm
Monday - Wednesday: closed
General Admission: $10
Students and Seniors: $5
SITE Santa Fe Members: Free
18 and under Free
Where: SITE Santa Fe
Address: 1606 Paseo de Peralta