Linda Mary Montano is 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. Attempting to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, Montano continues to actively explore her art/life through shared experience, role adoption, and life altering ceremonies,. Her artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual transformation.
Chicken Dance: The Streets of San Francisco was performed in 1972 in nine public spaces throughout the city, including museums, galleries, and iconic sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Wearing a blue prom dress, tap shoes, and an elaborate chicken-feather headdress Montano traipsed around the city, and pulling a small wagon with a cassette player, often dancing spontaneously. She had adopted the chicken as her personal totem before she arrived in San Francisco because, in their display of extreme concentration (their focus is gathering food) and in their nonfunctional wings, chickens reminded her of a Zen parable. Montano sought personal transformation through her performances that continue today.