Remote Control @ Vito Acconci. 1971

Publié le par Olivier Lussac

1:02:15 1971
Two performers, Acconci and a young woman, occupy two wooden boxes in separate rooms, connected via monitor, camera, and microphone. The situation is symbolic of a vicarious and distended power relation, a relationship built through and  reliant upon technological mediation. Watching her on amonitor, Acconci coaches the woman through tying herself up, urging her to pretend it is he who is winding the rope around her legs and neck. Acconci states, "The tying up is an occasion for me to get into wrapping you up in a more  generalized way." The rope represents Acconci's will in the woman's space, binding her  physically and mentally, as she stops resisting and acquiesces to his demands. As a study of consent and control, an underlying theme of the work is the manipulative potential of media technology, which reaches isolated viewers and subjects them to its organizing control.
Note: Remote Control was originally a two-channel installation. To recreate  Acconci's intended environment, show each of the 62-minute  tapes simultaneously on separate monitors.

1971, 62:30 min, b&w, sound, Two Channels
The two-channel piece Remote Control is an exercise in manipulation and control between artist and subject, male and female. On separate channels, the viewer sees Acconci and Kathy Dillon sitting alone in wooden boxes in different rooms, each facing a static camera.
Although they can only see and hear each other on separate monitors, they attempt to interact and respond to one another directly, as if their communication were unmediated. Through language and gesture, Acconci tries to manipulate Dillon's actions from his box, as though by remote control. He instructs her to tie herself up with rope, gesturing as though he were actually in her presence, cajoling her to perform his commands, convincing himself that he is in control: "I'm bringing the rope over your knees...I'm lifting your legs gently." The isolation and displacement of the couple, and the viewer's voyeuristic position, serve to heighten the undercurrent of dominance and submission. Dillon, who at first silently complies with Acconci's commands, eventually reacts to his manipulation with an assertion of her own will.
With: Vito Acconci, Kathy Dillon.

Publié dans Performances

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