Linda Montano: "Mitchell's Death" (1977).
image copyright Linda Montano, courtesy of Video Data Bank, Chicago
Linda Montano (USA)
Using performance as a means of personal transformation and catharsis, "Mitchell's
Death' mourns the death of Linda 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
Originally trained as a sculptor, Linda Montano began using video in the 1970s. Attempting to obliterate the distinction between art and life, Montano's artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual discipline. Montano's practice often generates performances that last for years. In "Learning to Talk'"(1975-1980) she embodies various roles and explores how language structures identity. In 1983, Montano and artist Tehching Hsieh were literally tied together for one year in a living performance. Montano's work from the 1970s and early 1980s was critical in the development of video by, for, and about women.
"Mitchell's Death", 1977, 22:20min.
Linda Montano Website
Video Data Bank, Chicago