Vito Acconci. From the space of the page to the space of reality.
A metamorphosis of the language.
Vito Acconci was born on January 24,
At the end of
As a poet Acconci treated the page as
From 1967 to 1969 he began his editorial effort together with Bernadette Mayer, his wife Rosemary’s sister. Together they publish six issues of the magazine 0 to 9, a tribute to Johns’ 0 through 9, printed with a mimeograph machine and distributed for free. The development of the magazine reflects the evolution of Acconci’s artistic career: from poetry, (in the first numbers there are texts by authors such as Queneau, Stein, Sanguineti, Apollinaire, Vito Hannibal Acconci himself; the last numbers have texts by artists such as LeWitt, Johns, Smithson and many others) to the performance with Street Work, held in New York in the spring of ‘69. Thanks also to the readings in which he participated in New York from 1967 to 1969 he begins to expand his range of action. The work that he considers the end of his activity as a writer is MOVE/MOVES (DOUBLE TIME): The time
Starting in 1969 Acconci devotes himself to art-making. The behavioral quality becomes the material of the work, as opposed to language intended in the two-dimensional nature of writing. The staging of his art becomes a translation of language and poetry. What was previously conveyed through the words written on the page now finds a new support: the body of the artist.
The activities and the performances from 1969 to 1973 are real body-works. The
All activities up to 1971 are documented with photos and by films shot in Super 8. With the Seedbed performance of January 1972 at the Sonnabend
Through the language and the relationship with the public there’s a real exploration of our nature. Acconci’s urgent speeches resemble streams of consciousness in which the author is free to express himself and his existential anxieties, sharing them with the public that becomes a confessor without an identity, but capable of performing a cathartic function for the artist. The last public performance of Acconci, Ballroom, took place in November 1973, at the Galleria Schema in Florence. During the piece a girl gets up and goes to kiss the artist upsetting the plan of action. From the end of 1969 to the end of 1973, Acconci produced around 200 works, including performances, videos, films, audio-video tapes and installations. In January 1974 we witness the final eclipse of the body with the video installation Command
In 1988 he founded Studio Acconci. In his transition to architecture, Acconci still retains his language and his interest in writing, just as in his poems he makes extensive use of pauses and punctuation marks, which give the reader the chance to get lost among the various points of view, so the architectural projects of Studio Acconci are buildings and
His is a vision that is projected into a still unexplored future: “We don’t know what a future space is going to be, but we want to try to anticipate it. We want to design this space, ideally — though I don’t think we do this, I hope we just haven’t built it, couldn’t have been designed, couldn’t have been imagined before the twenty-first century. No, we haven´t lived up to that, but I think that´s the only real choice for architecture. It should give you a possibility of a future”. And so a few years after the death of this great precursor, controversial, prolific and eclectic artist, it seems that his architectural work The face of the Earth smiles at him hoping that he found peace in death as he did not find it while alive in the desperate effort to “solve his existence in language”.