press release

This exhibition at MACBA focuses on Acconci's career from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, including his early poetry (from before 1968), his performance, film, video and sound works of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the corresponding photo-text panels, and a selection of the installations of the mid to late 1970s. The exhibition further contains three newly produced lecture-performances by Vito Acconci on the first twenty years of Acconci Studio. These lecture-performances will be produced in DVD and shown projected in the exhibition space. For the exhibition, MACBA will further produce a databank that contains over thirteen hours of sound works from the 1970s, among which many unpublished materials. These sound works will be accessible for the public through eight sound stations throughout the exhibition.

The artistic development of Vito Acconci seems uncommon and natural at the same time. Starting as a poet under the name Vito Hannibal Acconci in the mid-1960s, he treated the page as a space in which to act, defining words as props for movement and the page as a thing, a container, a map, and a field for movement. His last works done in a poetry context were poetry events in which he used props (an audio recorder, the walls of the room or the chairs in that room) while his attempt was not to read from a page but to read the room. These first pieces in an art context got him from the page into the gallery space.

By 1969 Acconci started an experimental period of performative works in exhibition spaces, revolving around his own physical and psychological being as highlighted by self-imposed activities of different kinds. These activities proposed a new definition of the material object by erasing traditional lines between an artist and his or her audience, a thing and a temporal event, and a work of art and its existence within a spatial and/or social context.

In his installation pieces of the early 1970s, Acconci was audibly, if not always visibly, present. The sound of his voice penetrated the exhibition space as he verbally engaged with the visitor in order to make his space and viewer space come together, more coincident with each other. By the mid-1970s Acconci had further realised that a work could as well use the exhibition space as a kind of model for overall cultural space. His installations of those years are physical interventions in mixed media that focus on the characteristics of the space. By the early 1980s, when he founded Acconci Studio, these concerns with space were further developed into interventions of an environmental and architectural scale. The power of the proposals of Acconci Studio lies in their proposition to drastically rethink the definitions of public space and its use. Pressetext

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Vito Acconci
Vito Hannibal Acconci Studio
Curator: Corinne Diserens
Produktion: Museu d´Art Contemporani, Barcelona