January 7 to April 3, 2011 – Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens marks the first museum solo exhibition for this New York-based photographer and performance artist. Often incorporating the camera in his performance works, Owens blurs the boundaries between the documentation of his performance events and the creation of photographic artwork born out of action. Additionally, Owens’ performances break through the separation between artist and viewer by allowing audiences to participate in events. He also restages historical work by other artists, creating open-ended situations that challenge the convention of art-making. Inherent in his work, however, is the proclivity for performance as complex and process-oriented work. Owens’ works often contain multiple components and layers based upon his interactions with the public or other artists. These interactions serve to create a context for the work that involves physically demanding actions within a controlled set of conditions. Working within these self-imposed conditions, Owens brings a new perspective to the history of performance art through the incorporation of the camera and audience as well as through the restaging of historical performance works. Particularly in his restaging, Owens brings a newfound understanding of the canon through the recognition of black artists who have been historically lost within this dialogue. Organized by CAMH Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver.

Museum Hours