It takes a lot to laugh, it may take seven hours of lip-synching Bob Dylan for Linda Montano to cry. The performance artist, known for her endurance pieces, will be impersonating the former Robert Zimmerman atop a 14-foot lift in front of the Kleinert/James Art Center in Woodstock on May 24 from noon to 7 pm in honor of Dylan's 73rd birthday.
Since the 1960s, Montano's career has addressed questions of time, identity, theology, feminism, and making the private public. Montano's performance practice began in 1975 with a technique she refers to as "creative schizophrenia." The artist is best known for her sensory deprivation work: From 1983-1998, Montano wore clothing all of the same color for each individual year, corresponding to the Hindu map of the chakras.
The Dylan endurance outside the Kleinert/James stems from Montano's realization that her family members look like Bob Dylan. She adopted the Dylan persona in order to "be like my brothers, having always wanted to be a man as a child—knowing that they were always getting the better cultural deal," she says. Montano's interest in Dylan, and other historical figures whom she has portrayed, like Mother Theresa, are intricately linked to her investigations of the blurred boundaries and interconnections between art and life: between being, having been, and wanting to be—or not being, anyone at all. Woodstockguild.org/performance.