Vito Acconci b. 1940
Undertone, excerpt (1973)
1973, 9:15 min, b&w, sound

One of Acconci's most compelling works, Undertone is a confrontational attempt to engage the viewer in an intimate, ultimately perverse relation with the artist. Acconci sits at the end of a long table, arms hidden underneath, facing the camera/viewer. Looking down, he begins a hypnotic monologue as he tries to convince himself that there is a woman under the table rubbing his thighs, or, alternately, that it is only himself rubbing his thighs. "I want to believe there's no one here under the table ... I want to believe there's a girl here." Then, in a direct address, he implicates the viewer in this fantasy: "I need you to keep your place there at the head of the table. I need to know I can count on you..." Coercively positioning the viewer as both voyeur and accomplice, Acconci defines himself through the spectator as psychological other: "I need you to screen out my lies, filter out the lies from the real point of view." -- EAI

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This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.

RESOURCES:

Vito Acconci in UbuWeb Sound
Vito Acconci in the UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing


RESOURCES:
Vito Acconci in UbuWeb Sound
Vito Acconci in the UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing