The Red Tapes

1976 | 02:20:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Performance, Politics, Video History

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The Red Tapes is a three-part epic that features the diary musings of a committed outsider: revolutionary, prisoner, artist. The series offers a fragmented mythic narrative and a poetic reassessment of the radical social and aesthetic aspirations of the previous decade. Acconci maps a “topography of the self,” constructing scenes that suggest both the intimate video space of close-up and the panoramic landscape of film space. 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, 1976

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

An excerpt from this title (Part II, 57:55), is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

Exhibitions + Festivals

Gene Siskel Film Center, Surveying the First Decade screening, April 9 2009