Command Performance @ Vito Acconci. 1973

Publié le par Olivier Lussac

Torn over the pressure to perform for his audience, Acconci fantasizes about "a dancing bear" who takes his place, performing in the spotlight, doing what others  want, "what I always had to do." The viewer is placed in the position of an authority or  analyst, above Acconci's head, listening to his hallucination. This fantasy becomes increasingly erotic as Acconci unburdens himself psychologically and reveals his contradictory need to control  and to be controlled.

1974, 56:40 min, b&w, sound
In Command Performance, Acconci attempts to replace himself with the viewer. He lies on his back with the camera gazing down on him and begins a hypnotic incantation: "Dream into the space... dream myself out of here, into you." Cajoling, pleading, insulting, fantasizing, he tries to seduce the viewer to take his place in the spotlight: "You're there where I used to be. I don't have to be there anymore. You can do it for me now...Oh, you didn't expect this, did you baby? You're used to the way it was." As the tape progresses, Acconci, humming and singing to himself, is driven further and further into his fantasy. "Now you're in the spotlight. You'll do everything I want, my little puppet, my little dancing bear." Becoming increasingly agitated, he is alternately comedic and cruel, sadistic and seductive, as he confronts the relation of artist and viewer, self and other. In the installation of Command Performance, the audience was confronted with an empty stool in a spotlight; Acconci, exhorting the viewer to take his place, was present only on a video monitor.

Publié dans Performances

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