Titles with or about Vito Acconci

Claim Excerpts

1971, 62:11 min, b&w, sound

A documentation of one of Acconci's most notorious performances, Claim Excerpts is a highly confrontational work, an exercise in self-induced, heightened behavioral states, and an aggressive psychological exploration of the artist/viewer relationship. During the three-hour performance, Acconci sat in the basement of 93 Grand Street in New York, blindfolded, armed with metal pipes and a crowbar. His image was seen on a video monitor in the upstairs gallery space. Staking claim to his territory, he tries to hypnotize himself through language into an obsessive state of possessiveness: "The talk should drive me into a state where everything is possible." He becomes increasingly tense and violent, threatening to kill anyone who tries to enter his space. Acconci has written, "If during the first hour, I had hit someone, I would have stopped, shocked, horrified; if, during the third hour, I had hit someone, I would have used that as a marker, a proof of success... a signal to keep hitting."