Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties (Paperback)

By Linda M. Montano

University of California Press, 9780520210226, 553pp.

Publication Date: January 25, 2001

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Performance artist Linda Montano, curious about the influence childhood experience has on adult work, invited other performance artists to consider how early events associated with sex, food, money/fame, or death/ritual resurfaced in their later work. The result is an original and compelling talking performance that documents the production of art in an important and often misunderstood community.

Among the more than 100 artists Montano interviewed from 1979 to 1989 were John Cage, Suzanne Lacy, Faith Ringgold, Dick Higgins, Annie Sprinkle, Allan Kaprow, Meredith Monk, Eric Bogosian, Adrian Piper, Karen Finley, and Kim Jones. Her discussions with them focused on the relationship between art and life, history and memory, the individual and society, and the potential for individual and social change. The interviews highlight complex issues in performance art, including the role of identity in performer-audience relationships and art as an exploration of everyday conventions rather than a demonstration of virtuosity.

About the Author

Linda M. Montano is a performance artist and the founder of The Art/Life Institute in Kingston, New York. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Woman's Building in Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, Ohio State University the Chicago Art Institute, the University of California at Los Angeles, Temple University, and the University of Texas.