Titles with or about Vito Acconci


1974, 10:18 min, color, sound

Shoot is a bold, theatrical work that merges the autobiographical with the cultural. Acconci's performance is an assault, a barrage of aggressive action, visuals and language. Acconci imitates the sounds of war, gunfire and explosion; he thrusts his face, stomach or penis onto the screen. His childlike battle sounds are interrupted with monologues in which he defines himself as an American, with ironic references to cultural cliches and stereotypes. "Yeah, I'm an American. I can't help it... I'm not trying to parody America now. I'm not trying to parody myself. I really do like Coca Cola. I'm not acting, this is really the truth. I really do like it..." He asserts his cultural identity only to reject it: "No, I have an Italian name, my father's Italian. I'm not really American at all, I have a tradition, I have a culture." Vulgar and outrageous, Acconci plays out the nightmare of the American Dream. He waves his penis at the camera, raging, "The savage American is here! I'm everyone's clown, I'm everyone's fool."