Vito Acconci
Command Performance, 1974

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.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Command Performance
Artist name
Vito Acconci
Date created
video installation
mixed media video installation with sound, 56:40 min.
dimensions variable
Date acquired
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 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Vito Acconci

See other works by Vito Acconci

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