About the Artist
Linda Mary Montano is a seminal figure in contemporary feminist performance art 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.
ARTFORUM: 500 WORDS
IT WOULD TAKE pages to remember and unravel my past traumas: near death from anorexia, PTSD, the Catholic Church’s failings . . . but needless to say, my art cured and continues to heal my life.
7 YEARS OF LIVING ART + ANOTHER 7 YEARS OF LIVING ART = 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART
This Robert J. Shiffler Archive Project, documents Linda M. Montano’s life/art performance 7 YEARS OF LIVING ART + ANOTHER 7 YEARS OF LIVING ART = 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART. The project includes illustrated narratives by the artist as well as, photographic and multimedia documentation about the performance.
TO BE READ TO THE DYING: TIBETAN LAMA
Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo:From the Six Wonderful Methods for Enlightenment Without Cultivation.Here I [Padmasambhava] shall explain the profound meaning of liberation through hearing
for the ones who have arrived at the time of death.
Among the three kinds of bardos, the first is the time of the bardo of dying.Fortunate one of noble family, listen one-pointedly. Pay heed. Do not wander.
Every experience in this world is Mara’s dream-like illusion.
Everything is impermanent, everyone is subject to death.
Noble one, turn away from further painful states.The experiences of whiteness, redness and blackness are all the magical display of your mind.
These experiences are nothing other than yourself.
Do not be afraid. Do not fear them.Now it seems that you are losing consciousness.
Outer appearances resemble the sky at dawn.
Inner experience resembles a the flame of a butter lamp in a vase.
Remain one-pointedly in the clarity of nonthought.This luminosity of death is buddha mind itself.
Rest naturally. Do not try to fabricate or change anything.
Noble one, in this way you are liberated into dharmakaya.Give this advice in a pleasant and clear manner.
Those of the highest capacity will be liberated through this.
Now comes the second bardo of dharmata.Fortunate noble one, listen one-pointedly. Pay heed. Do not wander.
Earlier, you did not recognize awareness.
For the next seven days, all of your experience unfolds as rainbows and lights,
as rays and spheres and as the bodily forms of deities.
All are sublime displays of means and knowledge of the five buddha families.
Do not be afraid, do not be terrified by the brilliant colors and lights.
They are your natural expressions. Decide on that.Together with these lights, there will also come dull colored lights and they may attract your mind.
Do not be attached to them.
They are the self-display of the five poisons, the pathways of samsara.
Your experience will arise as both true and untrue paths.
Do not mistake. Chose the right path.From the heart centers of the male and female buddhas of the five families, shafts of light reach your eyes.
This is Vajrasattva’s vast and direct path.
While remaining quietly and aware, form this thought, Be kind, help!
Call out with intense yearning.
Do not approve or reject anything.
Do not ward off anything; do not hold on to anything.
Be the continuous state in which the divine forms are indivisible from yourself.
Right here, as one deity dissolves into another, you are liberated into sambhogakaya.Listen fortunate one!
If you are not liberated now, know that time does not change though the displays do.
Everywhere in the four cardinal and four intermediate directions,
above and below, appear a roaring mass of flames and rainbow colors.
In the middle of this appears is the Great Glorious Heruka.
His retinue of deities and terrifying attendants shower cascades of sharp weapons.
They shout hung, phat and roar with laughter.
This fiery spectacle of immense variety makes one billion world systems tremble.
Do not be afraid, do not be terrified.
Acknowledge that everything is the display of awareness.
Remain firm in this knowing.
Settle indivisibly mingled with the natural state.
Having entered this pathway, you are liberated.In this way, those of the middle capacity are liberated.
Thirdly, during the bardo of becoming, say to the dead person:Listen, child of noble family. Pay heed. Do not wander.
Your body is now comprised of energy-currents and mind.
Around it unfolds the displays belonging to the bardo of becoming.
Recognize that you have died, and that you long to be alive.You may be caught by the fierce servants of the Lord of the Dead.
There may be horrible sounds.
A steep abyss may open up before you.
There may be many definite and indefinite signs.
They are all your mind’s displays.
This mind is ultimately open like the sky.
Space cannot be harmed by space.
So reclaim your unconditional confidence.When consecrated substances are burnt and given to you, enjoy it as an inexhaustible feast.
Enjoy this the sublime food of liberation through smell.
Do not yearn for a new life.
Direct instead your longing to your yidam deity and master.To the west of here is the Blissful Realm where Lord Amitabha dwells.
Whoever recalls his name will be born there.
You, too, recall his name, make prayers.
Generate devotion and think, Lokeshvara and Guru Rinpoche, help me!
Have no doubt.
Fly there with the spontaneous vajra leap.
And within the hollow of a lotus bud, in that same buddha realm,
you will be swiftly and miraculously born.
Therefore, noble one, trust in this with deepest joy.Those of the lowest capacity are liberated like this.If not, now comes the way of liberation once one has passed through to rebirth.Listen, child of noble family.
Since you have not closed the door to the womb, you may now see a log or a hollow space,
a dark place, a forest or a palace.
Cast away all desire and clinging.
Make up your mind to be born on Earth;
specifically in Tibet [a land with Dharma teachings] in the presence of your teacher.
Visualize your future parents, from a virtuous family, to be Guru Rinpoche and his consort.
Do not yearn for or resent them.
Have trust and settle in the state of equanimity.
You will become a vessel for the profound Dharma.
And then you will swiftly realize timeless wakefulness.Through these gradual instructions,
no matter how low one’s capacity may be,
one will certainly be liberated within seven rebirths.Draw the session to a close with the dedication and aspiration prayers.
Then settle in the natural state that is the sublime nature of all experience.This immensely profound instruction is not dependent on cultivation;
it liberates through hearing.