Clifford Owens: Photographs with an Audience

October 2nd, 2011


Gallery Diet is pleased to present the fourth incarnation of Photographs with An Audience a performance by Clifford Owens. Audience members are invited into the process of creating photographs, through improvised situations Owens draws on the demographic of the audience members to create compositions that reflect the experiences, past and present, of the group. The resulting photographs are presented as static objects in the gallery. This work has been previously performed at The University of North Carolina, The Houston Museum of Contemporary Art and On Stellar Rays in New York City. This will be Owens first performance and exhibition in Miami.

Performance Schedule

October 2nd 4 PM
October 3rd 7 PM

Please arrive early as space is limited


Often incorporating the camera into 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 live art works by other artists, creating open-ended situations that challenge the convention of art-making. 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 act of repeating canonical works within the very different context of current era, through the incorporation of the camera, his own body, and new audiences. 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. Owens is currently working in a studio at MOMA/PS1 on Anthology a project which encompasses the work of over 20 inter-generational African American artists. The exhibition will be on view at the Museum in Fall 2011, a catalog will be published in 2012 with a text written by the exhibition curator, Christopher Lew.

Clifford Owens  holds a BFA (1998) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA (2000) from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He has participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Studio Museum Residency in Harlem, and is a recipient of the Louis Tiffany Comfort Award as well as the Lambent Fellowship for the Arts. Owens has exhibited at P.S.1/MoMa as part of Greater New York, the Queens Museum of Art, NY, List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and Para-Site Art Space, Hong Kong. Publications which have included his works are Performa: New Visual Art Performance, and The Greater New York Book. His projects and exhibitions have been written about in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Art in America, Art+Auction, and Newsweek. Clifford is represented by On Stellar Rays and will be exhibiting with Gallery Diet in Fall 2011.

Recent Press:

Clifford Owens in The New York Times Fall Preview
Clifford Owens in Artforum 500 Words
Clifford Owens in May issue of ArtForum
Clifford Owens in The NewYorker