All Whirlwind, Heat, and Flash (Undertone) (2011)

Drunk at the wheel they laugh together as the foam from another beer explodes across the windscreen as she pulls the ring from the can. Sweet suds are in his hair as he idly spins the chamber of the revolver between his knees while she drives. They are intoxicated as much by the hot wind and the velocity as they are by fatigue and when the car drifts to the shoulder of the desert highway, the front fender clips a heap of rocks and the car flips, rolls and eventually comes to rest on its roof the wheels still spinning round they crawl from the wreck unharmed. Passionately they kiss in the dust by the roadside. Her blouse is ripped so that you can see her shoulder and her hair is mussed so that it falls down the side of her face, dark and lovely. Very becoming...


All Whirlwind, Heat, and Flash (Undertone)  is a performance with an extract of Vito Acconci’s video Undertone (1972) that has been widely circulated on the internet. In the original video Acconci details a masturbation fantasy while apparently caressing himself under the table. In my performance the sound of Acconci's fantasy is faded out and I deliver a monologue that constructs an alternative narrative,  a counterpoint redolent with the clichés of a cinematic love story and replete with car chases and betrayal. I become a vicarious counterpart to Acconci's narcissism, living a fantasy through the structure of his video rather than the vivid sexual act he describes.

Performance transcript (PDF)

Vito Acconci Undertone (1973)