Kevin Jerome Everson: So I Can Get Them Told, Tate Modern (2017)

This series surveys the last decade’s films by artist Kevin Jerome Everson, paying particular attention to representations of labour and performativity within his practice. Everson’s approach to filmmaking draws in framing techniques from his work in street photography and an emphasis on materiality and process from his work in sculpture. Within this formalist framework, his films seek out the poetics of everyday tasks and gestures of Black working class communities dispersed across the United States.

Emphasising situations and backstories over narrative exposition, Everson’s works evoke social, regional or economic conditions underlying the scenes and gestures represented – such as the twentieth-century migration of African Americans to northern US cities or the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis – often through abstract means. They are consciously approached as representations sculpted from the situations he shoots or footage he acquires, whether these scenes are entirely staged, lightly prompted or spontaneously happened upon. His films also inscribe a sense of his process through material traces of the filmmaking equipment, such as light flares, handheld shots, intentionally desynchronised audio or takes lasting the length of a roll of film. Together this layering of process, abstracted scenarios and a keen attention to specificities of place, movement, craft and speech creates rich artifacts of quotidian Black working class culture rarely given such form.

Join us as we delve into just a fraction of Everson’s oeuvre through a weekend of curated screenings and a special masterclass by the artist. The series includes exciting previews of two new mid-length works as well as the UK premiere of several recent short films.

Kevin Jerome Everson: So I Can Get Them Told is curated by the artist, Madeleine Molyneaux and Carly Whitefield/Tate Film. The series forms part of Tate Film’s Pioneers strand, showcasing filmmakers and artists whose works have proposed new approaches to the moving image.

Kevin Jerome Everson (b.1965, United States) is an artist-filmmaker from Mansfield, Ohio, currently living and working in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his highly prolific career, Everson has made nine feature films and over 130 short films, which have been exhibited internationally at film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Venice, Rotterdam, Berlin, London, Ann Arbor and Oberhausen. Everson has been the subject of mid-career retrospectives at Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, 2017; Viennale,2014; Visions du Reel, Nyon, 2012; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2011; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2009. His work has been featured at the 2008, 2012 and 2017 Whitney Biennials and the 2013 Sharjah Biennial. Everson is currently Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

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