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Performance into Art

For these artists, the body is the medium, and live actions their art.


Vito Acconci: Good Guys Wear Black website

Vito Acconci
(American, 1940–)

Several years ago, performance artist Vito Acconci sat down with six teenagers for an interview on the MoMA website Red Studio. Covering everything from the evolution of his work to the reason he omitted his middle name, Acconci was remarkably candid as he answered their questions.The site chronicles the artist’s work from his first forays into performance art in the late 1960s to his later installations and his current architectural work.

Rather than describe himself as a performance artist, Acconci would simply call himself an artist. “I think a person who moves into an apartment and puts curtains on the window is also being an artist at that point, you know? There’s something that exists, and you’re trying to see what it would be like if it was another way.”

A term that emerged in the 1960s to describe a diverse range of live presentations by artists.

A form of art, developed in the late 1950s, which involves the creation of an enveloping aesthetic or sensory experience in a particular environment, often inviting active engagement or immersion by the spectator.

Multimedia

VIDEO: Oral History Initiative, excerpt from interview with the artist Vito Acconci.