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Images courtesy of Gordon Ho
Photography by Gordon Ho. Kharris Kennedy.

Art. Social commentary. Personal discovery. How should these concepts interact? All three can comment on the others, so does one deserve precedence over the rest? As the web allows everyone (and their mother) publish self-probing diaries and social/political critiques instantly, perhaps art is being left out in the cold.

Bridging the gap is “The Man I Wish I Was: The Talkies Edition.” Three artists presented four short films revolving around the issues of gender identity, society, and politics. First up was Linda Montano’s “The Seven Spiritual Lives of Linda Montano,” which chronicled the artist’s personal and emotional growth over the years. Montano is an unusual character. She wore a brown George Clinton-esque hairpiece over the top of her flowing gray locks, dressing the part of the senior bohemian in layered orange scarves and actual rose-colored glasses.

Montano commanded attention when she spoke after the film. When asked what she’s working on now, Montano responded, “Artists are crazily wonderfully able to be crazily wonderfully crazily wonderful. That’s our job. That’s our vocation, that’s our gift. As one becomes an older artist, one sees that there are consequences to being crazy and wonderful and weird. When one is a younger artist, one does not know there are consequences to being crazily wonderful, wonderfully crazy.” Not exactly an answer to the question, but interesting none the less.

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