Vito Acconci’s canonical early video work engages hierarchical power struggles, sexuality, violence, control, and resistance. Every Acconci in the Video Data Bank is a collaborative project by Alicia Chester and Andrea Slavik to remake every video by Vito Acconci in the collection of the Video Data Bank, but with women and an HDSLR camera. These seem to be simple enough parameters to explore the intersections of performance and video and to ask: what does it mean to change the gender dynamic and remake Acconci’s work forty years later?
We are producing videos not with actors or people acting simply as stand-ins for Acconci but with mostly female artists whose work resonates with the specific videos we match with them. Using Acconci’s original performances as scripts and working within the parameters we set, they are free to interpret Acconci’s performances as they wish. Some stray far from the original works, although the seeds remain recognizable. The results are collaborative performances created for video in which highly personal aspects of each person’s work and personality are tangibly present.
The videos are shot in full HD at 30 frames per second using a Canon EOS 7D and are compressed to upload to Vimeo. This blog is the main repository for the project and collaborators’ responses.
Who we are:
Andrea Slavik is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and co-founder of the Momentum Film and Video Collective based in Windsor, Ontario. Her work seeks to deconstruct popular narrative practices and forms of representation active in our visual environment. Through juxtaposition, adaptation and appropriation of these visual texts and strategies, she hopes to bring to light intentional and unintended ideological structures at work in the visual culture of everyday late-capitalism in its most ubiquitous, often humorous forms. She completed an MA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011).
Alicia Chester is an artist, writer, curator, educator, and PhD student in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She works in lens-based media and installation and is interested in building creative communities through collaboration. Her work has been exhibited in such venues as the Chicago Cultural Center; MDW Fair (Chicago, IL); the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI); Paragraph Gallery (Kansas City, MO); and the Koehnline Museum of Art (Des Plaines, IL). In 2012, she completed an ACRE artist residency in Wisconsin and co-curated Peripheral Views: States of America at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), where she held the Collections Research Fellowship (2011–2012). Alicia was a coeditor and contributing author for the anthology Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline (Routledge, 2012) and is a staff writer for the online publication ArtSlant. Alicia completed an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2010) and teaches photography at Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, IL).
Alicia and Andrea met while completing their Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies degrees at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.