Lyle Ashton Harris
Jennie C. Jones
Nsenga A. Knight
Anthology, a new body of work including photography, video and live performance. The exhibition features performances scores - written or graphical instructions for actions - that Owens solicited from a multigenerational group of African-American artists. Twenty-six major artists have contributed scores, nearly all of whom composed new works specifically for Owens and his project. The scores range from vague commands to highly choreographed movements and actions. Through Owens' subjective reading of each score, he underscores the mutability and elastic nature of the sets of instructions.
(Long Island City, NY—October 5, 2011) MoMA PS1 presents the first New York museum
exhibition of artist Clifford Owens (American, b. 1971). The solo exhibition will premiere
Owens’s latest body of work, Anthology, which consists primarily of photography, video, and
live performance. Organized by MoMA PS1 Assistant Curator Christopher Y. Lew, Clifford
Owens: Anthology will open on November 13, 2011, and remain on view until March 12, 2012.
Anthology features performances scores—written or graphical instructions for actions— that Owens solicited from a multigenerational group of African-American artists. Twenty-six major artists have contributed scores, nearly all of whom composed new works specifically for Owens and his project.
Owens has long known that African-American performance art has been under- recognized and that its history remains largely unwritten. Rather than producing scholarly research on the topic, Owens has created a new series of work that actively explores this issue. Over the past year, he has asked established and emerging artists to help create a compendium of African-American performance that is both highly personal and historical in nature.
The scores range from vague commands to highly choreographed movements and actions. Through Owens’ subjective reading of each score, he underscores the mutability and elastic nature of the sets of instructions. By enacting nearly all of the scores himself and often more than once, Owens literally embodies the work in order to highlight the nature of live performance, the original instructions, and the rich interpretive gap between the two.
During the summer of 2011, Owens had studio space at MoMA PS1 and made use of the entire building to enact the performance scores. On a weekly basis, Owens performed in various locations including the basement boiler room, rooftop, and attic. He made reference to the history of the building as both a museum and a school by conducting actions before an audience and in private. The resulting photographs, videos, and objects will be presented in the exhibition. The artist will also perform selected scores live throughout the course of the show.
Anthology scores have been contributed by artists including Derrick Adams, Terry Adkins, Sanford Biggers, Aisha Cousins, Sherman Fleming, Coco Fusco, Charles Gaines, Malik Gaines, Rico Gatson, Rashawn Griffin, Lyle Ashton Harris, Maren Hassinger, Steffani Jemison, Jennie C. Jones, Nsenga A. Knight, Glenn Ligon, Dave McKenzie, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Benjamin Patterson, William Pope.L, Jacolby Satterwhite, Xaviera Simmons, Shinique Smith, Kara Walker, and Saya Woolfalk.
An accompanying artist book will be released in late 2012 or in 2013.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Clifford Owens (American, b. 1971) lives and works in New York City. He has been exhibiting since 2001 and recently opened his first solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He has also participated in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, On Stellar Rays, Queens Museum of Art, the Kitchen, and Art in General (all in New York); MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA; and Parasite Art Space, Hong Kong. Owens was featured in Greater New York (2005) at MoMA PS1.
The exhibition is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art and by Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi.
Image: Clifford Owens, Anthology (score by Nsenga Knight). Performance still, July 24, 2011, at MoMA PS1. (c) Clifford Owens. Courtesy of On Stellar Rays.
Rebecca Taylor, (718) 786-3139, email@example.com
OPENING CELEBRATION: Saturday, November 20, 2011, 12 - 6pm
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue in Long Island City - New York
Hours: Thursday through Monday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Admission is a $10 suggested donation; $5 for students and senior citizens; free for MoMA members and MoMA admission ticket holders.
The MoMA ticket must be presented at MoMA PS1 within thirty days of date on ticket and is not valid during Warm Up or other MoMA PS1 events or benefits.