Anthology Film Archives: Vito Acconci

A progenitor of conceptual-, body-, and interventionist-art, and a towering figure in contemporary culture who moved freely between language, action, moving-image, hypergraphics, installation, cybernetics, and urban design, Vito Acconci tragically passed away in 2017. This extensive overview of his moving-image work - encompassing both works made directly for the camera as well as invaluable documentation of some of his seminal activities, situations, and exhibitions - represents a celebration of Acconci's influence. It's also the culmination of one of Anthology's most ambitious recent preservation projects: with generous support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts - and with the close participation of Vito Acconci & Maria Acconci - we embarked on the preservation of 27 of Vito Acconci's Super-8mm films, some of which were rarely or never shown publicly in his lifetime. In collaboration with Acconci Studio and Electronic Arts Intermix (Acconci's long-time video distributor), we are proud to present this collection of films in an immersive retrospective. Born in 1940 in the Bronx, Acconci went on to earn an MFA in literature and writing from the renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop. He returned to New York and co-published the avant-garde poetry magazine 0 TO 9. His formally explorative writing propelled Acconci to jump from the page into activities for the street. By the late 1960s he was presenting dark works - sometimes tinged with humor - with a pronounced physical and psychological edge, which often featured extreme actions. Acconci moved into Super 8 filmmaking in the late 60s to document situations he was structuring in galleries, museums, and public spaces. Most of his activities did not happen in front of audiences, so the resulting films (and later videos) and photographic documentation were the intended way for viewers to experience them. His shorter films are static single takes, with the time limit of a single cartridge of Super-8mm film (approximately 3.5 minutes at 18 frames per second) delimiting the length of Acconci's pre-determined actions. His longer films are multiple camera rolls strung together, though they contain select edits. Compelling and identifiable, his Super 8 films and early videos directly influenced countless artists of his generation as well as ones to follow. Acconci was involved with self-driven activities through the early 80s. He then refocused his energy into architecture and urban design. A pioneer in the world of installation art, he pushed spatial discourse into new terrain with the design and construction of buildings, social spaces, and urban environments. Acconci initially sold Super 8 prints of select films through the Castelli-Sonnabend Videotapes and Films catalogue. Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) has long distributed Acconci's videos and video transfers of some of his Super-8mm films. The works Anthology has preserved have never been widely exhibited on the film screen. This film series combines new preservations with works made on video (from the collection of EAI), supplemented with audio recordings, slides, and texts. This series constitutes an incredible opportunity for the re-discovery of seminal works completed during Acconci's period as a filmmaker, in Acconci Studio's immersive program design for the Maya Deren theater (which will incorporate onscreen text slides, video monitors displaying additional works while the audience enters and exits, audio excerpts, and more). Co-presented with Acconci Studio and Electronic Arts Intermix. Very special thanks to Maria Acconci; Joshua Selman; Rebecca Cleman (EAI); Andrew Lampert; and Ivy Swope (Film & Video Solutions). All the 16mm prints in this series have been preserved by Anthology Film Archives with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with the exception of APPLICATIONS, OPENINGS, RUBBINGS, SEE THROUGH, WATCH, FACE TO FACE, and HAND TO HAND, which were preserved solely through the NFPF. All the works screening digitally are courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix. Works playing before and after the programs - as audiences enter and exit - will include RUNNING TAPE (1969, 30 min, CD), PULL (1971, 33 min, digital), and RECORDING STUDIO FROM AIR TIME (1973, 37 min, digital). PROGRAM 3 (1971): BREATH IN(TO) / BREATH OUT(OF) (1971, 3.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) WATCH (1971, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) WATERWAYS (BURST; STORAGE) (1971, 8 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) TRAINING GROUND (1971, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) DIRECTIONS (1971, 18.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 55 min.
9/7, 6:00 PM
CROSS-FRONTS (1972, 25 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) FACE TO FACE (1972, 16 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) HAND TO HAND (1972, 13 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) GO BETWEEN (1972, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) ANCHORS (1972, 21.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 90 min.
9/7, 8:15 PM
RECEPTION ROOM (1973, 18.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) AIR TIME (1973, 21.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) VISIONS OF A DISAPPEARANCE (1973, 25 min, video) Total running time: ca. 85 min.
9/8, 6:00 PM
HOME MOVIES (1973, 32.5 min, video) FACE-OFF (1973, 33 min, video) Total running time:
9/8, 8:45 PM
THEME SONG (1973, 33 min, video) WALK-OVER (1973, 30 min, video) Total running time:
9/9, 7:30 PM
DANCE MEDLEY 1970, 5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm & MY WORD 1973-1974, 91 min, silent, Super-8mm-to-digital Total running time: ca. 100 min.
9/10, 7:30 PM
TURN-ON (1974, 22 min, video) FACE OF THE EARTH 1974, 22 min, video OPEN BOOK 1974, 10 min, video SHOOT 1974, 10 min, video Total running time: ca. 70 min.
9/11, 7:30 PM
Works playing before and after the programs - as audiences enter and exit - will include RUNNING TAPE (1969, 30 min, CD), PULL (1971, 33 min, digital), and RECORDING STUDIO FROM AIR TIME (1973, 37 min, digital). PROGRAM 10 (1974-75): COMMAND PERFORMANCE (1974, 57 min, video) & LIFE HISTORIES OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MARSH BIRDS (1975, 8 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 70 min.
9/12, 7:30 PM
PROGRAM 11: THE RED TAPES (1977, 141 min, video) & ELECTION TAPE '84 (1984, 2 min, video) Total running time: ca. 145 min.
9/13, 7:30 PM
PROGRAM 1 (1970): BREAK-THROUGH (1970, 3.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) FILLING UP SPACE (1970, 3.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) THREE FRAME STUDIES (1970, 11.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) TWO COVER STUDIES (1970, 8 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) CONCENTRATION/CONTEMPLATION PIECE (1970, 3.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) LICK (1970, 5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) AIR TIME (1973, 21.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 65 min.
9/14, 6:00 PM
PROGRAM 2 (1970): RUN OFF (1970, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) CORRECTIONS (1970, 7 min, video) APPLICATIONS (1970, 20 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) OPENINGS (1970, 15 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) RUBBINGS (1970, 8 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) SEE THROUGH (1970, 6 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) SEEING RED (1970, 5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 75 min.
9/14, 8:15 PM
BREATH IN(TO) / BREATH OUT(OF) (1971, 3.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) WATCH (1971, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) WATERWAYS (BURST; STORAGE) (1971, 8 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) TRAINING GROUND (1971, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) DIRECTIONS (1971, 18.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 55 min.
9/15, 6:00 PM
CROSS-FRONTS (1972, 25 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) FACE TO FACE (1972, 16 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) HAND TO HAND (1972, 13 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) GO BETWEEN (1972, 10 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) ANCHORS (1972, 21.5 min, Super-8mm-to-16mm) Total running time: ca. 90 min.
9/15, 8:15 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue New York, NY

anthologyfilmarchives.org
(2019-09-09)

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