In Theme Song, Acconci uses video as close-up to establish a perversely intimate relation with the viewer, creating a personal space in which to talk directly to (and manipulate) the spectator. He is face to face with the viewer, his head close against the video screen, lying cozily on the floor. Acconci writes, "The scene is a living room — quiet, private night — the scene for a come-on — I can bring my legs around, wrapping myself around the viewer — I'm playing songs on a tape recorder — I follow the songs up, I'm building a relationship, I'm carrying it through." Smoking cigarettes, he begins a seductive monologue as he plays "theme songs" by the Doors, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson and others on a tape recorder. The songs are a starting point for his come-ons; the tenor of his monologues shifts with the lyrics. "Of course I can't see your face. I have no idea what your face looks like. You could be anybody out there, but there's gotta be somebody watching me. Somebody who wants to come in close to me ... Come on, I'm all alone ... I'll be honest with you, O.K. I mean you'll have to believe me if I'm really honest..." Theme Song, with its ironic mixture of openness and manipulation, is one of Acconci's most effective works.
Produced by Art/Tapes/22. -- EAI
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.