SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

University Art Museum Berkeley, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Linda Montano, Lying: Dead Chicken, Live Angel (1972)



For three days, from twelve noon to three, I laid in a chicken bed which had a twelve foot wing span.
I wore a blue prom dress, tap shoes and feather head band.
Polythene curtains surrounded the bed.
Fig leaves covered the floor.
A bird tape played during the event.
(Montano 1981, pages unnumbered)

When Linda Montano arrived in San Francisco in 1970, she was “the chicken woman” – as a sculptor, she had worked with live chickens in the late sixties, eventually replacing the birds herself […] Her format varies, she has simply appeared in huge chicken wings and padded shoes on a street corner and done her weird “chicken dances” for the passers-by; she has also constructed formal, sculptural sets to contain her more introspective actions […] The roles she adopts are all facets of her complex personal self-examination, and the situations she creates function “meditations” on the nature of these roles. (Kelb 1977: 46)