Claim Excerpts @ Vito Acconci. 1971

Publié le par Olivier Lussac

link
1:00:20 1971
1971, 62:11 min, b&w, sound
A documentation of one of Acconci's most notorious performances, Claim Excerpts is a highly confrontational work, an exercise in self-induced, heightened behavioral states, and an aggressive psychological exploration of the artist/viewer relationship. During the three-hour performance, Acconci sat in the basement of 93 Grand Street in New York, blindfolded, armed with metal pipes and a crowbar. His image was seen on a video monitor in the upstairs gallery space. Staking claim to his territory, he tries to hypnotize himself through language into an obsessive state of possessiveness: "The talk should drive me into a state where everything is possible." He becomes increasingly tense and violent, threatening to kill anyone who tries to enter his space. Acconci has written, "If during the first hour, I had hit someone, I would have stopped, shocked, horrified; if, during the third hour, I had hit someone, I would have used that as a marker, a proof of success... a signal to keep hitting."

In this record of a live performance, Acconci gives physical manifestation to the subterranean regions of the artist's mind and will, revealing the effort he must make as an artist to simultaneously convince himself and his audience. "Perhaps no other piece from the early 1970s more thoroughly spells out the psychologized drama engendered by performance-based video... Blindfolded, seated in  a basement at the end of a long flight of stairs, armed with metal pipes and a crowbar, threatening to swing at anyone who tried to come near, Acconci simultaneously invited and prohibited every visitor to the 93 Grand Street loft to descend into the world of the unconscious." —Kathy O'Dell, Performance, Video, and Trouble in the Home.

Publié dans Performances

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