Vito Acconci American, 1940-2017

Vito Acconci (American, b.1940) is a sculptor, video artist, performance artist, and architect born in the Bronx, NY. He earned a BA from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and, from 1962 until 1964, he was enrolled in the University of Iowa’s MFA writing program. In 1969, Acconci began producing visual art, after originally focusing on writing and poetry. From 1970 until 1974, Acconci performed a series of activities, including Broad Jump ‘71, staged at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, which was a jumping competition for male contestants vying for a woman as the winning prize. Acconci’s works and performances frequently contained incendiary social commentary. Seedbed (1971), a performance piece which is perhaps Acconci’s most notable and infamous work, positioned the artist beneath a wooden ramp at the Sonnabend Gallery, where he masturbated, for eight hours a day over a three-week period, and broadcast his fantasies through a loudspeaker while viewers walked overhead.