May 19, 2009

A-S-S + Hole: Vito Acconci's Name Calling Chair

acconci_ass_chair_solway.jpg

Name Calling Chair is a kind of alphabet of building. Name Calling Chair equates basic building with basic language with basic insults. What you see is what you get; what you read is what gets you.
When he created his Name Calling Chair, artist Vito Acconci took into account two peoples' perspectives: the user, and the observer. The user gets the benefit, if that's the right word, of both the hole cut into the seat and the rocking S's. The observer, meanwhile, gets to read the chair. I guess that makes it win-win! [?]

Acconci made the original Name Calling Chair in 1984, and it was sold to benefit El Bohio, the scrappy community/arts center on Avenue B. [It sold at Sotheby's in 2000 for just $4,000. Acconci's market has never been white-hot.] Then in 1990, Acconci editioned Name Calling Chair with gallerist Carl Solway. The edition [of 10] are made of two-inch plywood with cherry, ebony, and birch veneer. Solway doesn't mention the price, but a British gallery lists one for 6,000 pounds.

Name Calling Chair, Vito Acconci, 1990, ed. 10, published by Solway Gallery [solwaygallery.com]

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