houston

Clifford Owens, Studio Visits: Patty Chang, 2006, still from a digital color video, 28 seconds. From the series “Studio Visits,” 2004–2008.

Clifford Owens

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Clifford Owens, Studio Visits: Patty Chang, 2006, still from a digital color video, 28 seconds. From the series “Studio Visits,” 2004–2008.

Clifford Owens has written that he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a performance artist, yet his work is deeply enmeshed in classic performance-art interrogations: What is the role of the document? Can performance and the museum coexist? Most explicitly, what are the codes mediating a performer’s relationship to an audience? And feedback—both via artist-to-artist conversation and as an exchange between performer and viewer—is crucial to what he does. This exhibition (Owens’s first solo museum show) not only actively involved 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 elder

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