actLIFE is for action through the arts, activism, asking questions; for creative community, contemporary conversation, cultivating inner courage, and celebration; for teamwork, the telling of stories, travel within, and teaching each other; for life-as-art and listening; for individuals innovating through interdisciplinary intermedia; for friendships, foundation-building, feasts, flavors, and forums; for experiencing, experimenting and exploring. We are looking at alternative paths expressed through the senses and meditative experiences. Showcasing local, national and international artists, we aim to cultivate an environment of engagement and exchange that expands artistic possibility and exposes to innovative performance art. We identify, develop, celebrate, and savor processes and approaches.
Linda Mary Montano, a pioneer feminist performance artist, exploring and dissolving the boundaries between art and life, investigates the art/life relationship through everyday activities, actions and communication as rite and ritual. She is interested in the way artistic ritual, staged as individual actions/interactions or collaborative workshops, can be used to alter her birth story and to create the opportunity for focus on spiritual energy states, silence and the cessation of art/life boundaries. 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, Montano’s artwork is autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual transformation. Montano’s 14 Years of Living Art is a 220-page portable book/archive on Montano and her endurance performance art that features Montano’s journal writings, photos documenting this performance, 18 of her ecstatic tantric tales, her drawings, 13 essays and interviews, and, via Montano’s instructions, an Art/Life recipe for the reader to practice making life a work of art. Her publication is available to purchase or preview at magcloud.com/browse/issue/1184522.
Linda Mary Montano. Mother Mary With My Parents’ and Mrs. Mehta’s Clothes / Rose Bush / Crib. 2018
“We remember our dead in many ways. My Rosary Practice brings Mother Mary into my life in a way that allows me to prayerfully and respectfully and hopefully with her guidance, honor my dead parents and my adopted mother, Mrs. Mehta, by wrapping their once used clothing around the photo of Her with Baby Jesus to create a doll-form. The sticks are from my father’s Rose tree that died this year. The crib I found recycled at Garrison during a meditation retreat. Everything Matters. I make Mother Mary Memory Dolls for your intentions.” The group performance (event score) by Linda with Linda leading by phone: Each person will think of a private beautiful and healing sentence they want to say to their Inner Child. The Inner Child will pass around, and, one by one, each person whispers their sentence to the Inner Child Doll while all chant Maaaaaaaa. After all have said their wishes, the doll is placed back in her bed.
Nina Isabelle is a process based artist working with language, perception, action and phenomena. Her approach frames the interlacement of multiple art modalities, including recursive photography, video motion-studies, fugue mark-making & notional painting, gesture abstractions & movement, along with task-based performative actions and object construction, as research tactics used to locate, decipher and authenticate lateral vantages, perceptions, and information as a way to reinspect and rescript narratives & notions. Isabelle works to push material and information past the point of recognition in a way that forces a shift in meaning as a way to reveal new information that can transform and challenge the limits of material, perception, approach and belief.
This Little Light of Mine. 2017. 12x12x36″ Electronic unfired porcelain with spray paint and studio ephemera. “This Little Light of Mine is an object built out of sturdy slabs of unfired porcelain that balances the utility, curiosity and fulfillment presented by social systems of religion and power with their potential to remove autonomy and frames the glowing lake of fire within us as the beautiful oneness we experience through cultural bondage.”
Jennifer Zackin has been integrating public art, sculpture, installation, performance, collaboration, ceremony, photography, video, collage and drawing into acts of reverence and reciprocity and seeks to engage and create community in her process, bringing art and ritual into everyday life. Every act is an exploration of exchange, communion, performance, skill-sharing and mark-making. Zackin has worked with Rose Petals, Little Plastic Cowboys, pre-Columbian symbols, bright handmade pom-poms, cheap mass-produced posters, coca leaves, and her grandfathers old Super-8 home movies. How she weaves them into rhythmic, often meditative forms depends in great part on the underlying pattern that she is able to detect and orchestrate among her diverse materials.
Cai Xi is a painter, t’ai chi master, chef and teacher. Her versatility in painting includes traditional Chinese brush, ink and calligraphy, abstract performance action painting, luminous landscapes, larger than life portraits, mixed media installations, exhibition curating, and incorporates performance art and art happenings. Her studio has expanded into the kitchen with ArtAsFoodAsArt. In her newest performance piece, White Wedding, she is sewing half a wedding dress onto herself, and finding someone that I can find to continue sewing from the front of myself onto that person’s back. She will be sewing from herself front onto my back. They thus will become attached so that scissors are needed to cut themselves free.
Sharon Myers is a sculptor, quilter, mixed media collagist, and chef. “Light fascinates me. Fabric gives me the chance to recreate the variety of light I see at home and in my travels. Fabric too is intoxicating. Once I see the color and feel the texture, ideas begin to flow. I have to own it, to take it home and play with it. I have dyed fabric to get the subtlety and variety that I need to create a landscape, sky, sunrise, or mountain. I have used fabric to paint these impressions because I need to see the color and shape first. Having the fabric in my hands gives me a way to bring my vision to life.”
Nye Ffarrabas’ work transcends neat categorization and even pushes the boundaries of conventional definitions of ‘art’ with her event scores (instructions for participants in group and solo improvisation settings), poetry, the visual arts, wall pieces, drawings, text-based art, installations, found-object artifacts and sculpture, and photographic documentation of her performances and happenings. “The materials I use are often taken from stuff that other people have jettisoned: left-overs, broken objects, typos, and such. When you start seeing things in a new way, nothing is exempt, and the playfulness that emanates from this brings new insights, fresh interconnections, and some unsuspected depths. At the same time, speaking from my own perspective, everything is in some way sacred. And special. And weird. And heartbreaking. And hilarious. And breathtaking. And touching. And, in the presence of insatiable curiosity and plentiful goodwill, anything anything can be seen anew, in another light, showing us ourselves, also, in new ways.” Her publication is at magcloud.com/browse/issue/756374.
Le Xi, video artist, uses non-traditional materials working in two and three dimensions and animation film. His work suggests the struggle between the limitations of life and its limitless perception, dealing with such questions as what is the gap between the reality and the imagination. Le Xi approaches light, shadow, time, and space in a constant state of watchful experimentation leading to the development of kinetic video art pieces. His exploration is an attunement and blurring of the boundaries between substance and shadow, art and life, as energized by rhythm and movement. The result of these investigations is a disregard of the boundaries between substance and shadow, and time and space.
Friday August 24th 5-9pm at C X Silver Gallery, 814 Western Avenue, Brattleboro, VT. ArtAsFoodAsArt Reception, Exhibition and a series of performance art pieces by exhibiting artists.