Vito Acconci's "Red Tapes"

A masterwork by the artist, The Red Tapes is a three-part epic that features the diary musings of a committed outsider: revolutionary, prisoner, artist. The series, one of Acconci’s most major video works, offers a fragmented mythic narrative and a poetic reassessment of the radical social and aesthetic aspirations of the previous decade. Designed originally for video projection, the work is structured to merge video space — the close-up — with filmic space — the landscape. Acconci maps a “topography of the self” within a cultural and social context, locating personal identity through history, cultural artifacts, language and representation.

The production of The Red Tapes involved painters and filmmakers Erika Beckman, Ilona Granet, Richie O’Halloran, Kathy Rusch, David Salle, and Michael Zwack.

I’m thinking of landscape in terms of movie—I’m forced then to treat landscape as a dream, myth, history of a culture. Thinking of person, close-up, in terms of video—I’m forced then to treat person as on-the-spot news, convoluted soap opera.

Vito Acconci