Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vito Acconci "Seedbed" January 15-29, 1971

This Vito Acconci video, “Seedbed” is of an installation piece done at Sonnebed Gallery. It took place from January 15-29, 1971. A ramp was installed throughout the gallery and Acconci lay underneath it and projected his voice through a loudspeaker. With this particular piece, Acconci again plays with the viewers comfort level. During this video, Acconci masturbates underneath this ramp and what he is projecting over the loudspeaker is his fantasies about the patrons walking directly above him in the gallery. This is another good example of endurance for Acconci. In this piece it is as if he forces the viewer, now participant, into dealing with their comfort levels. Again, in this instance, Acconci’s endurance deals more with his audience than himself. The way in which “Seedbed” was performed is another example of endurance. In an interview with Brian Sherwin, Acconci explains in detail how “Seedbed” was executed. Acconci states, “I didn’t want to be a point, a target, a focal-point in front of visitors to the gallery … I crawled around this space, its highest point was two, two and a half feet high, I crawled around under visitors’ feet -- once I had titled the piece Seedbed (a synonym for floor, under current, sub-structure), I knew what my goal had to be: I had to produce seed, the space I was in should become a bed of seed, a field of seed – in order to produce seed, I had to masturbate – in order to masturbate, I had to excite myself” (October 2008 interview from myartspace.com) Crawling around in this tight space for an extended period of time is a prime example of endurance.

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