Vito Acconci, ‘Sketch for a Bridge in Tasmania I’, 2014, Alessandro Berni Gallery

About Vito Acconci

Best known for his controversial Body Art of the 1960s and ’70s, Vito Acconci has led a diverse career, one that has taken him from poetry through performance, video work to architecture. In Acconci’s subversive and highly physical performances, the artist was known to bite himself, burn off his body hair, and masturbate under a wooden ramp in a gallery while fantasizing through a loudspeaker about the people walking above him. For Broad Jump ’71, the artist organized a jumping competition for men, in which women were the prizes, offering commentary on male ownership of women. For Tonight We Escape from New York (1977), he installed a rope ladder in the Whitney Museum, alongside of which four loudspeakers played fragments of a racist dialogue that seemed to rise and fall along the ladder. Acconci’s interest in the human body and its relationship to public space later evolved into architectural, landscape, and furniture design.

American, January 24, 1940, New York, New York