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Full Circle, 1973

Vito Acconci filmed this performance in 1973 in Florence. In a long monologue spoken in a hypnotic voice, the artist reminisces on a past relationship. Acconci addresses the viewer as if they were the person with whom he had that relationship, remembering what they did together in various natural settings: rolling down a hill, fighting a snow blizzard, on a beach, covered in sand and playing with the waves. And all along, while he tells the story in his seductive voice, the artist keeps turning in an imaginary circle. Sometimes he’s on screen, sometimes he’s off, sometimes he changes direction, and every five minutes or so the location changes. While the place and background shift – an outdoor terrace, an outside wall, a living room – he continues to go round in circles leading the viewer into a kind of sexual climax. When Acconci goes off screen, the voice ceases to speak in the second person, no longer addressing the viewer as ‘you’, but rather talking about ‘her’ and ‘the others’: those with whom the narrator has had relationships in the past. History and image move through parallel time lines that only meet intermittently.

“I walk in a circle around the camera: sometimes I’m on screen, sometimes I’m off, sometimes I change direction, leaving the screen on one side and coming back on the same side.
Every five minutes or so, the location changes: my circle is continuous while background shifts: bare walls – a corner with a window on one wall – outside, on a roof, with sky as the ground – inside, in a living room, bookcase and couch in the background.
I’m silent ; there’s a voice-over, it’s my voice: on screen, I’m talking about circling you, wrapping myself around you, as I did around “her”, a person from my past: a kind of trap.
When I go off-screen, the talk shifts, becomes dreamier – fantasy talk, quasi-hypnotic – it’s as if we’re in a field, we’re Rolling down a hill.”

Vito Acconci. From: Vito Hanníbal Acconci Studio, Barcelona: MACBA / Actar, 2005

Technical details

Original title:
Full Circle
Registration number:
Acconci, Vito
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, b/w, sound, 30 min
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Vito Acconci, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

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