Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa by Linda Mary Montano, 2010
Performed at The Empire State Building, New York, NY
Duration: 3 hours/day for 3 days
Linda Mary Montano and performance artists Andrea Dominguez, Toni Silver, Zhen Heinmann and Leah Aron perform this piece in honor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta on her 100th birthday at the Empire State Building.
For the two years prior, Montano, a practicing Roman Catholic, had been "performing" as Mother Teresa at her local church in upstate NY and in other venues.
Montano celebrates the 100th Birthday of Mother Teresa outside the Empire State Building in collaboration with her attendants. Her actions are to be dignified. She gives non-verbal signs of blessing, prayer and smiles of encouragement to all who wish to interact with her.
Montano dresses in a blue and white saree and her attendants wear black suits, carrying Montano's personal items so Montano is free to interact without any distractions. Without signs, without chairs and moving freely in foot traffic on the sidewalk in front of and near the building. No flyers are handed out, no books/objects given or sold, just smiles from Mother Teresa and decorum from the attendants who visually symbolize protection, security and institutional reliability.
Video by Mark Shaw