While the artist is commonly present in depictions of performance art, this presence is not intended as an exploration of the self as in self-portraiture. Instead, the artist’s body serves as a catalyst for ephemeral actions, preserved only through documents and photographs. Vito Acconci captures the use of his own body as an art-making implement in Kiss Off. For this work, Acconci transferred red lipstick from his own mouth to various parts of his body, which he then pressed onto a printing stone to be transmitted to paper. The artist is thus present not only in the photographic documentation of the act, but in his body’s literal inscription in the final work.
On view through July 29 in the exhibition Artists on Artists.
Vito Acconci (American, b. 1940)
Kiss Off, 1971
Art Rental Collection Fund, RC1971.5