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LINDA CARMELLA SIBIO

Biography

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Linda Carmella Sibio's work explores the psychological fault line between external and internal reality drawing upon visual symbols and philosophy as a base. Her work invites the collision between perception and experience. It is modern urban guerrilla theater which combines bizarre and grotesque iconography with a musical array of emotional notes which evoke a broad spectrum of emotional experience. This work has resulted in discoveries in vocalization techniques with voice extensions that correlate the psychological with highly technical components of music. I has also been a source of discovery for exercises in non-linear writing for performances. She combines the use of high formal structure with improvisation which gives a picture of the violent impulses within society and serves to both question and investigate highly social material.

Her work addresses social themes such as homelessness, mental illness, drug addiction, urban warfare, suicide, mass murder, religion and violence against women. She chooses issues that represent the ghetto of society delving into these subjects spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. She incorporates theoretical knowledge of structures in psychological states with the exploratory and improvisational processes of live theater so that she can explore the influence and relationship of the artistic experience to pathology. In the making of this work she draws upon her background and training in the visual arts (painting, drawing, installation), theater (acing, commedia dell Arte), and interdisciplinary art. She develops performance pieces which utilize films, music (original), installation, kinetic sculpture, video, costumes, masks, puppets and text. In performance she is interested in the raw power of human emotional contact, the unpredictability of impulse and the combining of forms to create a psychological environment that sucks the viewer in, holds him/her hostage and releases them with a new point of view.

Her work is dense with multiple layers of images and texts. In the layering of this work she has developed a vocabulary of language and multi-media forms which service the development of conceptual ideas. These images start as abstractions and develop into more concrete realities through the actualization of the work. She juxtaposes realities that often contradict each other creating a surrealistic tone. Common elements in her work include machines which commit suicide, 21' structures made of steel, an apartment with walls that move and talk, a haunted bed that goes from floor to ceiling and a pixalated movie where raw meat crawls over her body devouring her flesh. Ms. Sibio is breaking new ground combining strong installation and visual concepts with live performance work. Museums may very well have to open their doors to this type of work!

Ms. Sibio is the recipient of the Lannan Foundation grant, the Rockefeller MAP Award, three Cultural Affairs grants from the City of Los Angeles, Brody Art Award, three Art Matters Awards, a visual arts award from Artists Beyond Disabilities, LACE Interarts Award and the Change Inc. Award. Her work has been endorsed by such notable artists as Reza Abdoh and Rachel Rosenthal, curator of the Walker Art Center - John Killacky, the Lannan Foundation, Martha Wilson of Franklin Furnace, and Norman Frisch.

In addition to her solo work Ms. Sibio is founder, director and collaborator with a group of mentally disabled artists with a history of homelessness "Operation Hammer." The fabric of her work has included working with marginalized groups since 1985. She holds workshops in skid row communities, hospitals and prisons as part of her ongoing investigations into society and how it works.

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