Titles with or about Vito Acconci

Home Movies

1973, 32:19 min, b&w, sound

In this powerful "meta-document," Acconci sits in the dark with his back to a screen, onto which are projected slides of his past works, in chronological order from 1969. He describes each piece briefly. At times he turns to one side and speaks to an absent person in a conspiratorial whisper: "They couldn't possibly know these pieces the way you do... you know how I took what was happening with us and transferred it into the work." At other times he stands in front of the slide projections to face the viewer and addresses his art-making strategies, including the process of making this tape: "There's too much action here, my interest is language. Language can over-analyze things, break things down, over-complicate things."

The viewer assumes a voyeuristic role, as if eavesdropping on a private conversation that elucidates the personal psychology behind his work. In his direct addresses, however, Acconci calls this intimacy into question: "There's too much past here, past history. It's about having a past base on which to structure a present relationship." Autobiographical within the context of his art-making, Home Movies reveals the psychological circuit that propels much of Acconci's work, as he explores the self through a dialogue between the artist and an absent other.

Produced by Art/Tapes/22.

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