Istvan Kantor, recepient of the 2004 Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts, also known as Monty Cantsin, open-pop-star, the founder of Neoism, “Self-Appointed Leader of the People of the Lower East Side”, is an action based media artist/subvertainer/producer, active in many fields, performance, robotics, mixed-media, installation, painting, sound, music, video and new media.
Kantor was born in Budapest where he studied medical science. In 1976, at age 26, he defected to Paris and from there he immigrated to Montreal. He also lived in Portland, New York, Berlin and presently is a resident of Toronto where his three children, Jericho, Babylon and Nineveh were born in the 90’s.
His main subjects are the decay of technology and the struggle of the individual in technological society. His work has been described by the media as intellectually rebellious, anti-authoritarian, as well as technically innovative and highly experimental. He likes to break things and set things on fire. He uses conflict and crisis to present his cause, often placing himself in the center of danger and uncertainty. His radically changing creative ambitions are always related to his living environment and social situation.
In collaboration with legendary correspondence artist David Zack, Kantor launched the Monty Cantsin open-pop-star project in Portland, Oregon in 1978. He initiated both the international operations of Neoism and his major life-long performance "Blood Campaign" in 1979 in Montreal. In the mid 80’s Kantor/Cantsin relocated to New York City, re-emerging as "self-appointed leader of the people of the Lower East Side".
Kantors's performance based work explores the body as well as technology, from blood to video to physical gestures via digital sampling, breathing, computers or pneumatic machinery. He often incorporates objects such as steam irons, coat hangers, clocks, flags and megaphones into his actions.
Throughout the past three decades he has been arrested and jailed many times for his guerilla interventions in museums. He also received many prestigious awards among them the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Canadian Film and Video in 1998, in Toronto and the Transmediale Award in 2001, in Berlin.
Besides his individual work he is bandleader/singer of the Red ArmBand and founder-member of several performance groups among them Puppet Government, MachineSexActionGroup and Kantor Family Circus.
2010, 10:20 minutes, colour, English
2009, 19:20 minutes, colour, English
2009, 40:35 minutes, colour, English
2008, 42:00 minutes, colour, English
2008, 14:30 minutes, colour, English
2008, 10:50 minutes, colour, English
2008, 06:45 minutes, colour, English
2007, 53:30 minutes, colour, English
2007, 14:35 minutes, colour, English
2006, 70:45 minutes, colour, English
2005, 09:15 minutes, colour, English
2004, 72:00 minutes, colour
2001, 01:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English
2001, 07:30 minutes, colour/B&W, English
2001, 15:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English
2000, 20:44 minutes, colour/B&W, English
2000, 10:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English
1999, 16:24 minutes, colour/B&W, English
1998, 41:30 minutes, colour/B&W, English
1998, 09:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English
1997, 27:00 minutes, colour, English
1995, 05:30 minutes, colour
1995, 04:45 minutes, colour
1994, 02:55 minutes, colour
1994, 19:00 minutes, colour, no dialogue, sans dialogue
1993, 08:40 minutes, colour, English & French
1993, 00:55 minutes, colour, English & French
1992, 11:00 minutes, colour, English & French version available
1991, 18:30 minutes, colour, English
1991, 09:30 minutes, colour, no dialogue, sans dialogue
by . Now, Aug. 10 Summer, 2006, v. 25, no. 50.
by . The State of the Arts: Living with Culture in Toronto, 2006. Toronto: Coach House Books, 2006.
by . NOW, June 15, 2006, v. 25, no. 42.
by . The Toronto Star, Jan. 4, 2005.
by . The Toronto Star, June 11 Spring, 2005.
by . The Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, 2005. Ottawa: Canada Council for the Arts, 2005.
by . The National Post, Mar. 4, 2004.
by . The Globe and Mail, May 19, 2004.
by . CTV, Mar. 10, 2004.
by . The Globe and Mail, Mar. 18, 2004.
by . Canadian Art, Sept. Fall 2004, v. 21, no. 3.
by . The National Post, Mar. 27, 2004.
Pleasure Dome, 2002. Toronto: Pleasure dome, 2002.
by . Public, 2002, v. 25.
by . C Magazine, Summer 2001, no. 70.
by . Montreal Mirror, Nov. 8, 2001, v. 17, no. 23.
by . ArgosFestival, 2001. Brussel: Argos, 2001.
by . Canadian Art, Summer 2001, v. 18, no. 2.
by . Now, Apr. 22, 1999, v. 18, no. 34.
Canadian Currents, 1999. Toronto: Absolute Choice Curatorial Collective, 1999.
by . The Globe and Mail, Apr. 24, 1998.
by . id Magazine, Fall 1998.
by . The Ontario Magazine for Artists, Dec. Winter 1998.
by . The Guelph Mercury, Nov. 27 Winter, 1998.
by . i-D, Nov. 26 Winter, 1998.
by . The Toronto Star, Apr. 27, 1995.
by . Mirror, Apr. 16, 1992, v. 7, no. 43.