Clifford Owens and Kara Walker at MoMA PS1: An Epilogue with RoseLee Goldberg

Last week, artist Clifford Owens told The Observer in an interview that he planned to force a sex act on an audience member for his final performance at MoMA PS1. The performance, based on a score written by artist Kara Walker, called for French kissing an audience member and demanding sex. He had performed it several times during his 10-month residency at the museum, and planned to take the performance further and to break out of a comfort zone he had settled into. In response to the news of Mr. Owens’s plans, which we shared in search of comment, Ms. Walker responded via email that she wasn’t aware of his plans for his final performance and stated, “If he goes through with it he leaves no room for imagination or freedom of choice.” The next day, when she withdrew her involvement from Mr. Owens’s performance, demanding, via email, that he “cease and desist” from using her score, The Observer found itself an unwitting participant in the evolution of that last performance. Read More


  1. [...] More: Clifford Owens and Kara Walker at MoMA PS1: An Epilogue with RoseLee Goldberg – GalleristNY This entry is filed under Uncategorized and tagged across-the-wire, artist, artists, audience, [...]

  2. [...] Owens around during the performance, just to make sure. That he didn’t rape anyone. [GalleristNY]The town of Catskill, in upstate New York, is hosting a project titled “Wall Street to Main [...]

  3. [...] arise between composer and performance artist over notions of freedom of choice and [...]

  4. [...] Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, has transformed 2517 Holman Street into the Kentifrica Museum, featuring the ethnomusicology, hairstyling rituals, and cultural myths surrounding “a contested geography, identity and existence” that is Kentrifica. In collaboration with performer-composer Kevin Robinson, and artist and instrument-maker Eugene Moon, Hinkle will offer Ethnomusicology of Kentrifica, workshops for the community on instrument building and healing through music, as well as a multimedia spoken-word piece addressing the liminality of Kentrifica’s “contested geography.” (I for one think this sounds way more interesting than the much-covered Clifford Owens-Kara Walker performance at P.S. 1.) [...]

  5. […] performance was inspired by a performance score written for him by the artist Kara Walker, a later iteration of which generated some controversy. Even if you weren’t one of the ones he touched directly in […]