Before a Viewer: Appearance and Antagonism in the Poetic and Videographic Works of Vito Acconci
MetadataShow full item record
This paper focuses on Vito Hannibal Acconci's early exercises with language as well as his video work (namely Centers and Claim Excerpts ) in terms of their composition as well as their dissemination. In regards to his poetic project, this paper places emphasis on Acconci's practice of psycho-topology and the ways in which discourses of others are written through and on top of. Furthermore, this paper discusses how, in his various video projects, Acconci maintains a similar subjective position as that which was displayed in his poetry: presenting itself not in terms of an embodied subject but instead one that is identified merely on the basis of its physical display and on the basis of its visual intrusion onto public space. Using a Lacanian discourse, this paper argues for Centers as working outside of a classical system of narcissism and more accurately as working to achieve a passive non-involvement: a duping antagonism through which the human subject reflects his fantasy. Both Centers and Claim Excerpts are read on the level of the body as maintaining a multiplicity of functions which respond to the gaze, namely that of articulating the command into, and outside a given community so as to establish a subjectivity that that must be viewed as a screen in a metonymic antagonism to the public sphere.