Brain Damage: Sorcery as Art
Photograph by Ira Cohen
Avant Garde magazine
Mario Montez, R.I.P.
Mario Montez, the Warhol superstar who also appeared in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and Normal Love, died last week at the age of seventy-eight. Montez was born René Rivera, but renamed himself in his teenage years, as a tribute to actress and gay icon Maria Montez (an obsession he shared with Smith). He is best known for appearing in thirteen films by Andy Warhol, most notably Chelsea Girls.
Montez also co-founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company with Charles Ludlam, and the group rehearsed at Montez’s SoHo loft. In 1977 he retired from the NYC underground scene and relcoated to Orlando, Florida, where he has been working clerical jobs.
“People thought that I didn’t want to talk to anybody, but no, I was looking for a better environment for my health,” he told the NYC Daily News, “you get tired of the cold weather.”
He resurfaced briefly in 2006, taking part in the documentary Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, alongside Tony Conrad, Billy Name, John Zorn, Mike Kelley, Jonas Mekas, John Waters and Robert Wilson. He attended a Smith tribute in Berlin the following year.
On March 31st, 2010, Columbia University held an all-day event called Superstar! A Tribute to Mario Montez, which featured film screenings, round-table discussions and a conversation with the actor. Organizer Frances Negrón-Muntaner, director of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race called him “…one of the most gifted performers of the underground period.”
Images & text from Dave Dyment’s Artists’ Books and Multiples
by jwcurry. Toronto, Trystero Px, 26 april 1994. portrait based on a photograph by Karl Jirgens.
Commemorating the naming of bpNichol Lane, 3oapr94, GRoNK mailout #L & the inaugurative issue of the Trystero Px.
The anniversary of the great poet bpnichol’s death was September 25th (1944–1988).
from a beepliographic cyclopœdia. be sure to check out the amazing jwcurry’s monumental cataloging of bp’s work & work by others that reference bp.
It’s a quiet rainy Friday night. Looking at my bookshelf, I take down the collected writings of Joe Brainard. A book I treasure. This is what I open to:
"I remember thinking about breathing, and then your head takes over the effort of breathing, and you see that it’s “hard work,” and it’s all very spooky somehow."
–Joe Brainard, “I Remember” from The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, (Penguin Books, 2012).
Ann Hamilton's books used in Indigo Blue and Tropos performances/installations
Indigo Blue, 1991
The figure in performance sat reading the books back to front, clearing each page, by a gesture of wetting a Pink Pearl eraser with saliva, rubbing out a line of text, and collecting the rubber eraser crumbs in a line parallel to the uppermost edge of the book and the front of the desk.
…With an electric burner in hand, (she) burned each line from the book, as it was read, causing the air to fill with acrid smoke.