My Word, 1973 - 1974

PAL, silent, colour and black and white

My Word is the last of the thirty or so Super 8 films made by Vito Acconci. While most of them are very short and filmed with a fixed camera and a single camera angle, this one is feature-fil m length and its form is complex. It is no longer a question of the elementary use of cinema, hitherto exploited by the artist.
Within a floating fictional framework, interweaving written texts (address to the spectator and then to invisible women) with the images in the film which build up a sort of artistic biography of Vito Acconci, several means and several regis ters of cinematic enunciation and plastic language are employed:
- the minimalist space, when the camera first takes in every angle, the walls and the floor of the empty workshop.
- the artist as subject, when the camera then focuses on Vito Acconci's body and movements.
- shots close to pop art, with still-lifes of feminine objects, the classic supports for fetishism.
- psychologizing sequences, when the camera follows Vito Acconci as he walks around the workshop and on the roof.
- long subjective-camera passages, when the film escapes by zooming in on one of the workshop's windows or explores the urban landscape and the sky.
- passages in black and white, in which the actions integrated in the framework of the film refer to previous actions (masturbation scene reminiscent of Open-Close for example).
- the black and white in the final part of the film, with Vito Acconci's theatrical exit from the workshop, indicating that he is abandoning Super 8 film and bringing introspection to an end.
The title itself, My Word, gives the film a double significance, since it can be seen both as a testament and as an aspiration to speech, speech addressed directly to the spectator as he will be able to do with video.

Kamel Boukhechem