Three Relationship Studies (Manipulations, Imitations, Shadow Play)

Vito Acconci

New York, USA, 1940 - 2017
  • Date: 
  • Edition/serial number: 
  • Media description: 
    Super 8 film transferred to video (Betacam SP and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    12 min. 30 sec.
  • Colour: 
    Colour and black/white
  • Sound: 
    No sound
  • Category: 
    Video, Action
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Image credit: 
    Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York (

In the late 1960s, Vito Acconci abandoned poetry in order to work with the body and its relationship with space, although he did retain a commitment to language. Influenced by the concepts proposed by the Judson Dance Theater and the Structuralist experimental cinema in the Anthology Film Archives, Acconci shifted his interest towards performance, Super 8, video, sound and installation, executed within the gallery or museum space. Three Relationship Studies (Manipulations, Imitations, Shadow Play) brings together three conceptual exercises in which Acconci explores one of his main themes of interest: the body as space. In this particular case, he focused on the relationship of his body with the other, his manipulation of it, and the way the shadow cast by his body manages to dominate the space outside it.
This relationship between the self and its image is the principle that has led many historians, including Rosalind Krauss, to talk about the aesthetic of narcissism in the beginnings of the video, in which Acconci has a central role.

Cristina Cámara Bello