Curated by Astria Suparak
For Pratt Film Series
@ Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
September 22, 1999

Performance-based video art from the 1970s to the 1990s.

“There’s too much action here, my interest is in language. Language can over-analyze things, break things down, over-complicate things.” – Vito Acconci

Conceptual, performance-based and seminal videotapes from the 1970s with an emphasis on language, contrasted by recent work by Zhang Huan, who does radical, often painful actions in silence.


1. Selected Body Works, William Wegman, 1970-74, b/w, 12 min.
Includes Stomach Song and Deodorant Commercial. Don’t miss Wegman’s hilarious one-liners and absurdist sight gags.

2. My Father’s Socks, Dennis Oppenheim, 1972, 5:50 min.
Mittens, Dennis Oppenheim with his daughter, 1974, 4:21 min.
Disappear, Dennis Oppenheim, 1972, b/w, 5:57 min.

3. Performance works 1994-98, Zhang Huan, 38 min.

4. Boomerang, Richard Serra, 1974, 11:07 min.

5. Home Movies, Vito Acconci, 1973, 32:19 min.
In the meta-document, “Home Movies,” Acconci describes his past works and art-making strategies from 1969-1973 via a slide show and his periodic, conspiratorial whisperings to an absent person. Autobiographical within the context of his art-making, Home Movies reveals the psychological circuit that propels much of Acconci’s work.