Linda Mary Montano is a contemporary feminist performance artist and her work since the mid-1960s has been critical in the development of video by, for, and about women. 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 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, has taught Performance Art, published 5 books and has over 50 free videos on You Tube.
In 1998 I began collaborating with my father on video: recording our meals, time together. Finally getting to know him. For 4 years we enjoyed this art-life collaboration. After he had a hemorrhagic stroke, I literally hid behind the video camera because I couldn't face my Dad's situation. So for 3 years I recorded it all so I didn't have to see it...feeding/bathing/walking. I mourned his death with my art family, probably around 2007, at Pauline Olliveros' Deep Listening space on Broadway in Kingston and then for some time after that I shared the video-performance, but very rarely because the pain was too raw. But 13 years later, I am able to re-share this experience because of many things but especially because of music! My parents had a band in the 30's and 40's: Dad played drums and trumpet and sang; Mom sang. So when I began focusing on SINGING FOR MY PARENTS AS ART in DAD ART and seriously included my singing in this INTERACTIVE mourning-meditation, the video took on a teaching-tool function and way for me to rise out of debilitating pain and fly toward trance-formation. Also audiences have a chance to interact with over 7 other performer-collaborators and deal with death performatively, which opens a door to REALLY being with Impermanence. We all get it: LIFE IS SHORT. Art makes it spacious and long for a minute. The interactive aspect is what makes DAD ART a communal ART OF HEARTFELTNESS/COMMUNITY.