I like Vito Acconci. This video is really unsettling. It feels like something that you shouldn't be watching, though nothing much happens except the attempt and re-attempt of him trying to literally open her eyes. The use of force on another human-- UBUWEB does a good job at summing up the video. The tension doesn't get resolved. You want to intervene, but the video just cuts off and you don't know, you don't know what happens to her or to him.
This reminds me of another video by Acconci where he is burning off all of his chest hair with a single white candle. He is determined to burn it all the way down to the skin, but obviously the flame against his skin-- especially sensitive on his chest--cannot be sustained for long. There is this tension between trying to get a task done, the determination to do a thing, and the weakness or limitations of the body that is fascinating to watch. With the addition of the camera/spectator's eye, there is an urgency to that determination, the desire not to fail in front of an audience. This need to complete something, even something insignificant, to feel of worth.
2 years ago