VITO ACCONCI

New York, 1940 - 2017



Curated by Valerio Dehò

May 31 - September 7, 2013

The exhibition is organized by:
Michela Rizzo Gallery
Gallery P420
Vito Acconci / Acconci Studio

Vito Acconci (1940) and Franco Vaccari (1936) are two artists among the greatest exponents of the contemporary avant-gardes who, without ever repeating themselves, without ever following fashions, have managed to remain consistent in experimentation, consolidating their personal artistic practice without neglecting to always support it with adequate theoretical awareness. For the first time, they are brought together in a large exhibition that contains the most significant stages of their work, from the beginnings to the present day, comparing it with the due distances, but also with the elements of commonality of path and research. The two artists, despite not having had direct contact with each other, have developed a parallel artistic path, albeit diversified, which includes visual poetry, performances, photography, film and video.
Since the mid-sixties both have been working in the experimentation of Visual Poetry, moving away from the most common forms of poetic representation of their time. In the seventies, the interest of the two artists then focused on the direct involvement of the public. Acconci does it through his well-known performances linked to the size of the body using almost exclusively small rooms or cells, small areas as a space where one can represent one's own private action. Since then, Acconci's work has been characterized by risk and suffering and gradually he becomes completely involved in behavioural actions, disconcerting his audience. In this regard, the Seed-bed performance, which takes place in 1972 at the Sonnabend gallery in New York, is explanatory in which the artist masturbates under the gallery floor and the public can listen to him but not see him. In the same year, Franco Vaccari presents at the Venice Biennale Exposure in real-time num. 4, leave a photographic trace of your passage by installing a Fotomatic booth in his personal room in the Venetian pavilion, left completely bare except for an inscription in four different languages. on a wall that invited the visitor to become part of the work, taking a passport photo and then hanging it on the wall.

In the mid-seventies, Acconci abandons the performances and creates spatial installations, even if his voice is always present to create a sort of community participation. In the Eighties, his interest in space led him to create the Acconci Studio, a group of architects who, with their proposals, collaborate with the artist in the realization of projects that propose interventions of an environmental and architectural nature, analyzing the concept of home and environment.
Vaccari also creates some works that can be traced back to an architectural interest. In the town of Bregenz, Austria, a modern art museum was built on which the inscription: 'Kunsthaus' which means' house of art' hangs over it and in 1998 Franco Vaccari was invited there on the occasion of the exhibition 'Art in the city '. Next to the entrance, the author created a building that was the opposite, in terms of materials, dimensions, aesthetics and grandeur, to this huge building. He also placed a luminous sign on this small building, in which it was written 'kunsthäuschen' which means 'art house'.

The exhibition is organized with the direct collaboration of the artists and Studio Acconci and constitutes a long-distance dialogue between European and American art, a historical verification of theoretical consonances and artistic operations still awaiting adequate historicization.

Vito Acconci is an Italian-american conceptual artist, born in New York in 1940.

He studied at the University of Iowa (1962-64). After that, he mainly focused in poetry and in teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the Yale University in New Haven.

Since 1969, he has been working in the visual arts field, focusing in exploring his intimate and personal connections, both physical and psychological, with actions that made him one of the most disturbing body-art exponent. He recorded both videotapes and super-8 films, which not only preserve a memory of his actions and performances, but also become a way for him to explore his conceptual researches (Pryings, 1971; Theme song, 1973; The red tapes, 1976). He also worked on installations and even designed prototypes for houses, furniture and cars (VD lives/TV must die, 1978; Instant house, 1980; Bad dream house, 1984), always trying to further explore the links between architecture and landscape (Land of boats, 1991, Detroit, Saint Aubin Park; Personal river, 1993, Newcastle, Tyne river shores; a landscape installation in the Public School-Bronx garden, 1995, New York; A skate park that glides the land & drops into the sea, 2004, 3rd Millenium Park, San Juan, P.R.; New street square full of words, 2005, London).

During his life, he has been able to expose in various solo exhibitions in the most reknown periodical and theme-based contemporary art events. His most remarkable exhibitions in Italy were the ones at the Luigi Pecci Museum, in Prato (1992) and at the Rivoli castle (2010).  In 2013 the Galleria Michela Rizzo has been host the bipersonal INTERSECTION with the artist Franco Vaccari, curated by Valerio Dehò.

Vito Acconcie dies the 27th April 2017.