Vito Acconci

American (New York City, New York, 1940)

Command Performance

1974
video installation | mixed media video installation with sound, 56:40 min.
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  • Command Performance

    Vito Acconci, Command Performance, 1974; mixed media video installation with sound, 56:40 min., dimensions variable; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Mrs. Robert MacDonnell, Byron R. Meyer, Modern Art Council, Norman C. Stone; and the National Endowment for the Arts; © Vito Acconci


Command Performance slyly combines live and prerecorded video to upend the roles of artist and spectator.

From a monitor positioned at the base of a column, a video recording of a reclining Acconci taunts and entreats the viewer to replace the artist by stepping into the metaphorical and literal spotlight. His voice exhorts visitors to sit on an illuminated stool nearby, saying "Come to me... Now you are there, where I used to be... It's your turn to play the fool for them." Meanwhile, a video camera focused on the stool delivers live footage to a second monitor, allowing viewers to voyeuristically watch those willing to take up Acconci's challenge.

Command Performance was a key transitional piece for the artist; it marks the end of Acconci's live performances and appearances before the camera, and anticipates his later interactive architectural installations.


Dimensions variable
Acquired 1990
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Mrs. Robert MacDonnell, Byron R. Meyer, Modern Art Council, Norman C. Stone; and the National Endowment for the Arts
© Vito Acconci
90.325

Tags

monitors, lighting, poles, televisions, audiences, live feed, participation, stools, performance, real time


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