Clifford Owens Review in Artforum

May 2nd, 2011

Solo exhibition, Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens, at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houstonhas been reviewed in the May  2011 issue of ArtForum magazine by Nick Stillman.


Clifford Owens has written that he doesn’t want to be a pigeonholed as a performance artist, yet his work is deeply enmeshed in classic performance-art interrogations: What is the role of the document? Can a performance and the museum coexist? Most expicitly, what are the codes meditating a performer’s relationship to an audience? And Feedback-both via artist-to-artist conversation as an exchange between performer and viewer-is crucial to what he does. This exhibition (Owen’s first solo museum show) not only actively involvd the artist’s immediate audience but, laced with references to earlier performative/conceptual acts, reverberated with performance-art history as well. In a nice bit of matchmaking, curator Valerie Cassel Oliver paired Owens’s exhibition with a survey (on the second floor) of the work of Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson. Having interpreted the elders artist’s 1964 Lick Piece in 2006, Owens included documentation of this recent restaging in his own show. Also exhibited were photos, video and drawings from Owen’s “Studio Visits” series, 2004-2008…


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