Acconci’s work was a reaction against the “father-art” that he said he needed to kill. “Because [Robert] Smithson went outside, I could go inside,” he told fellow artist Richard Prince in an interview for Bomb Magazine in 1991. “I had to go somewhere else—inside myself.”
He initially pursued writing, enrolling in the University of Iowa’s MFA writing program in the early 1960s. In 1967 he co-founded the independent magazine 0 to 9, through which his own work transitioned to intermedia while the magazine became a model for future collaborative journals. Then, in 1968, he embarked on an eight-year period in which he expanded writing into street works, and interventions relayed via hand written text, photography, sound, film and video. Some of his best-known works from this period, such as Following Piece (1969), Trademarks (1970), and Seedbed (1972), were cornerstones of this era and have had an outsize influence on his peers and later generations of artists. Acconci’s work continued to transform during the mid-1970s, positioning him as an unconventional architect who would go on to design structures from a wide range of materials. He founded Acconci Studio in 1988.
His public works—many of which were never realized—are provocative and memorable, while his architectural work combines design, architecture and environmental use at once. One of his best-known works is Mur Island, for Graz, Austria (2003), a floating platform in the middle of Mur river that was commissioned on the occasion of Austria’s being named as the European Capital of Culture. Vito Acconci was named Design Miami Designer of the Year in 2012. Where We Are Now (Who Are We Anyway?), his retrospective of early works from 1968 to 1976, was designed by Vito + Maria Acconci and took over the 3rd floor of MoMA PS1 in 2016.
Vito Acconci studierte am Holy Cross College in Worcester bis 1962 und erhielt 1964 seinen Master of Fine Arts an der Universität von Iowa. Zunächst setzte sich Acconci mit verschiedenen ästhetischen Fragen im Bereich der Literatur bzw. Lyrik auseinander. Ende der 60er/Anfang der 70er Jahre entstanden erste Arbeiten in den Bereichen Performance bzw. Film und Video, in denen er die eigenen Person und zwischenmenschlicher Beziehungen analysierte. Mitte der 70er Jahre erweiterte Acconci seine Audio- und Videoinstallationen im Hinblick auf die Zuschauerpartizipation. Architekturentwürfe, Landschaftsarchitektur und Möbeldesign bestimmten die Schwerpunkte seiner Arbeit Mitte der 80er Jahre. Ende der 80er gründete er das »Acconci Studio«, wo eine Architektengruppe, Projekte für den öffentlichen Raum konzipiert. Er nahm an zahlreichen int. Gruppenausstellungen teil u.a. an der d5 - d7. Außerdem zahlreiche Einzelausstellungen, wie 1983 im Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Text is only available in German https://zkm.de/de/person/vito-acconci (30.08.2021)