Vito Acconci

Bad Dream House


Architecture. Wood, brick-facing, shingles, Plexiglas, screen
540 x 730 x 760cm.

Bad Dream House sits at a crossroads in Vito Acconci’s career. The piece links his work as a performance artist – which involved his presence in often confrontational situations with the audience and, at times, in highly challenging physical situations – with his later work, where he became more interested in the space around him, ultimately leading to the creation of Acconci Studio and his practice as an architect.

Bad Dream House is a monumental sculpture or a relatively modest scale building, which challenges the individual as they make their way through it. The viewer is invited to ascend the building; however, the staircases seem to lead to nowhere. The architecture is inverted from the way we would expect to experience it, creating a sense of confusion and disorientation typical of Acconci’s work.