With a sense of place and historical research, Kevin Jerome Everson films combine scripted and documentary moments 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 he favors 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. Continue reading Kevin Jerome Everson – 13 Short Films (1994-2004)
With a screening time equivalent to a full day’s work, Everson turns the cinema into a factory floor. Workers are observed while performing specific tasks, as well as while taking breaks. His humble approach paradoxically results in a monumental film.
By inviting his audience to spend much more time with his subject than the comfortable duration of a fixed film format, or a furtive visit to an installation, Everson directly sollicits our sense of time management. But beyond that, the rethoric of his meditation on history, economy and the place of the individual avoids the manipulative. Without any comment or contextualization, and with no clear sense of what type of objects are being produced, the working performance gains a sculputural quality all of its own. The title refers to the name of a bowling alley in Everson’s hometown, Mansfield Ohio. This film about a full day’s work in a factory that produces bowling alley supplies, requires an eight-hour experience in real time. It is above all a reflection on the relentlessness, but also the dignity, of everyday working life. Continue reading Kevin Jerome Everson – Park Lanes (2015)