Centers – 1971
B. 1940, BRONX, NY
Vito Acconci was born in 1940 in the Bronx, New York. He earned a BA with a major in literature from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1962. Two years later, he completed an MFA in writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After returning to New York, he went on to develop a diverse body of work in poetry, criticism, Performance art, sound, film and video, photography, and sculpture.
In the second half of the 1960s, Acconci’s work was centered on poetry and language. In 1969 he began using photography to document various actions, such as jumping, bending, and falling, that he executed in order to understand how his body moved in space. Also in 1969 he performed Following Piece, in which he followed passersby on the street until they entered private spaces. From 1969 to 1974 he continued to explore movement in space, using film and video and adding text panels to his photographs documenting his actions. Some of his performances questioned the nature of gender; other works interjected the private realm into public space. During the 1970 exhibition Information at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example, he had his mail forwarded to the museum and went there every day to open it. In Seedbed (1972), he masturbated, he claimed, under a temporary floor at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York, while visitors walked overhead and heard him speaking. In the second half of the 1970s, some of Acconci’s works were comprised solely of his speech on audiotape, and many of his performances forced strangers to interact with one another.
In the late 1970s, Acconci began making sculptures referencing architecture and furniture. From 1980 on, some of his sculptures demanded viewer participation: to complete pieces shaped like simple houses, for example, viewers pulled ropes that erected the four walls. Subsequent works, most installed outdoors, were meant to be sat on or played upon. The scale of Acconci’s sculptures continued to grow, until he was making public art on a grand scale. Since the late 1980s, the artist has worked with Acconci Studio, located in Brooklyn, New York. This collaborative group, which includes designers in addition to Acconci, develops several public artworks and architectural projects annually. On his own and with Acconci Studio, Acconci has produced works for several college campuses and for airports in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Personal Island, designed for Zwolle, the Netherlands (1994), and Island in the Mur, for Graz, Austria (2003), float in bodies of water; the latter includes a theater and a playground.
Acconci has taught at numerous institutions, among them the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, San Francisco Art Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, School of Visual Arts in New York, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Yale University in New Haven.
Since his first solo show in 1969, at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Acconci has participated in numerous exhibitions. Retrospectives have been organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1978) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1980). Print retrospectives have been mounted by Landfall Press in New York (1990) and the Gallery of Art at the University of Missouri in Kansas City (1994). Acconci’s achievements have been recognized with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1976, 1980, 1983, and 1993), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1979), and American Academy in Rome (1986). He has also received the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1997) and two New York City Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design (1999 and 2004). He was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2000. Acconci lived in Brooklyn, New York until his death on April 27, 2017.
This film presents the wonderful journey that media artist Joachim Sauter (ART+COM) and composer Ólafur Arnalds ventured on together at MADE, that culminated with the creation and performance of this interdisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk.
The dialogue and exchange between these two craftsmen, each coming from a distinctly different discipline, resulted in a majestic clash of light, motion and sound.
Please dive in, let go and enjoy this wonderful moment – Joachim’s graceful kinetic pieces breathing and moving in harmony with the touching music composed by Olafur.
Film by: Matthias Maercks
MADE is a creative platform for artists from various fields, located in the heart of Berlin.
It can be a gallery, a workspace, a studio, a stage, a laboratory, or a performance space – but most of all, it is a venue for interdisciplinary projects that invites artists to step out of their artistic routines.
The goal of MADE is to enable a new kind of creative work by bringing together different artistic fields and offering a workspace and an inspiring biotope that allows new things to happen.
MADE was founded in early 2010 by German contemporary artist tadiROCK, her partner Nico Zeh and ABSOLUT Vodka, a visionary brand that fosters creative collaborations for over 30 years.
Michael Snow’s extensive and multidisciplinary oeuvre includes painting, sculpture, video, film, sound, photography, holography, drawing, writing, and music. His work explores the nature of perception, consciousness, language, and temporality. Snow is one of the world’s leading experimental filmmakers, having inspired the Structural Film movement with his groundbreaking film Wavelength (1967).
Snow was born in 1928 in Toronto, where he lives and works today. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Toronto (1999), the University of Victoria (1997), the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1990), and Brock University (1975).
Snow has received several prestigious awards including: the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2011), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1972), the Order of Canada in (1982), and the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres, France (1995, 2011). There has been a great deal of scholarship focusing on Snow, including the multi-volume Michael Snow Project published in 1994 by the Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario, both in Toronto, to accompany four simultaneous exhibitions at the two venues that same year.
Back and Forth (1969) – excerpt 1
Recent solo exhibitions include Sequences at La Virreina Image Centre in Barcelona, Spain (2015), Michael Snow: Photo-Centric at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014), Michael Snow: Objects of Vision, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2012), Solo Snow: Works of Michael Snow, Akbank Sanat, Turkey (2012), Michael Snow, Vienna Secession, Austria (2012), In the Way, àngels barcelona, Barcelona (2011), and Solo Snow, Le Fresnoy, France (2011).
Snow’s work has been included in countless group exhibitions, most recently including the Canadian Biennial (2012), Videosphere: A New Generation at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY (2012), 1969 at MoMA PS1, NY (2009), and the Whitney Biennial, NY (2006), as well as exhibitions held for the reopening of both the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005), the latter at which three works are currently installed. Snow’s work is in various private and public collections throughout the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Ludwig Museum, Austria and Germany; the Musée National d’Art Modern, Centre Pomidou, France; the Musée des Beaux Arts, Canada; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; and the National Gallery of Canada.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Snow since 2004. Solo exhibitions held at the gallery include Michael Snow: A Group Show (2015); Michael Snow: In the Way (2012); and Michael Snow: Powers of Two (2004). Snow was also included in several group exhibitions at the gallery including Works on View (2009), Imposition (2005), and A Charge to Keep (2004).