Iterations by Clifford Owens

Saturday, October 17, 2015
6 to 8pm

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation hosted Iterations by Clifford Owens. Iterations is comprised of several performance scores written for Owens by black American and British artists. Included in this program is a score authored by the late Terry Adkins titled Lexor Solo (Mystical Score for the Ghost of Bud Powell) (2011), which Owens has not performed since 2011. Adkins contributed Lexor Solo as part of Owens' solo exhibition at MoMA/PS1 entitled Anthology, which involved soliciting and interpreting performance scores from 26 artists of color. In this vein of interpreting scores provided by other artists, Owens recently performed a score written by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in Night of Philosophy at the French Cultural Embassy in New York City. According to Yiadom-Boakye's score, Owens requested political asylum from the French government. In his performance of Iterations, the artist will re-visit Yiadom-Boakye's challenge to "Give people what they NEED, not want. Emphasis on need." Further complicating our thinking about need versus want, in 2013, Owens solicited love letters from his former lovers in the form of performance scores. For Iterations, he will reply to a letter from one of his most recent paramours. Lastly, Owens will situate the audience in relation to and "between history and the body" according to an instructional score offered by William Pope L.


Clifford Owens (1971, Baltimore, MD) has exhibited extensively both domestically and abroad. Notable exhibitions include the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2014), Better the Rebel You Know at Home in Manchester, UK (2014), Performa13 (2014), MoMA/PS1 (2012), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2014), The Studio Museum (2012), and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2011), among many others. Articles about his work and practice have appeared in Art in AmericaThe New York TimesArtforum, and The Los Angeles Times, to name just a few. He is currently teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University and at Yale University.