Across POLLY ONE's two exquisite shots, veteran filmmaker (and amateur meteorologist) Kevin Jerome Everson utilizes 16mm film and unconventional lenses to render — in swirling Turneresque colours — a natural phenomenon even more cosmic.
- Kevin Jerome Everson
- TRILOBITE-ARTS-DAC / PICTURE PALACE PICTURES
With a sense of place and historical research, my films combine scripted and documentary elements with rich elements of formalism. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of working class African Americans and other people of African descent. The conditions are usually physical, social-economic circumstances or weather. Instead of standard realism I favor a strategy that abstracts everyday actions and statements into theatrical gestures, in which archival footage is re- edited or re-staged, real people perform fictional scenarios based on their own lives and historical observations intermesh with contemporary narratives. The films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life—along with its beauty—but also present oblique metaphors for art-making.
Kevin Jerome Everson was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. He has a MFA from Ohio University and a BFA from the University of Akron and is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Everson was awarded the 2012 Alpert Award for Film/Video; his films has been the subject of mid-career retrospectives at Cinema du Reel (March 2019); Glasgow Short Film Festival (March 2018); Harvard Film Archive (Feb. 2018); Tate Modern, London, UK (Fall 2017); Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea (Feb. 2017); Viennale (2014); Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland (2012), The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2011) and Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2009. His work has been featured at the 2008, 2012 and 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2013 Sharjah Biennial and the 2018 Carnegie International. He cocurated the 2018 Flaherty Film Seminar with Greg DeCuir, Jr.
His artwork — paintings, sculpture, photographs — and films, including nine features (SPICEBUSH, 2005; CINNAMON, 2006; THE GOLDEN AGE OF FISH, 2008; ERIE, 2010; QUALITY CONTROL, 2011; THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS, 2013; PARK LANES, 2015; 8903 EMPIRE, 2016 (co-directed by Kahlil I. Pedizisai) and TONSLER PARK, 2017) and over 150 short form works, including eight collaborations with his UVA colleague, Professor Claudrena N. Harold, have been exhibited internationally at film festivals including EMAF, IFFR, Sundance, Toronto, Venice, Berlin, BFI/London, NYFF, Ann Arbor, Oberhausen.
From April-September 2011, a solo exhibition of 17 short form works, More Than That: Films of Kevin Jerome Everson, was featured at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A 3 DVD Boxed Set, BROAD DAYLIGHT AND OTHER TIMES, was released by Video Data Bank (U.S.) in 2011 and a DVD dedicated to films focusing on the rituals and gestures of labor, I REALLY HEAR THAT: QUALITY CONTROL AND OTHER WORKS was released by VDB in summer 2017. The DVD contains the feature film QUALITY CONTROL (2011), included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
Everson has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Gardner Prize (Harvard), NEA, NEH, Ohio Arts Council and the Virginia Museum, an American Academy Rome Prize, grants from Wexner Center for the Arts, Sundance Art of Non Fiction, Creative Capital and the Mid-Atlantic, residencies at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, and numerous university fellowships.
Recently, TRAVELING SHOES (2019) premiered in Berlinale Forum, BLACK BUS STOP (2019, co-directed by Claudrena N. Harold) premiered in the Tigers Shorts Competition at IFFR and MUSIC FROM THE EDGE OF THE ALLEGHENY PLATEAU (2019) premiered at Cinéma du Réel. His latest film CONDOR (2019) was selected in the Orizzonti section at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.
Photo: Sandy Williams III