Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce Kevin Jerome Everson’s exhibition Westinghouse, on view at 55 Walker Street from February 29 through April 11.
Since the late 1990s, Kevin Jerome Everson has created a singular body of work that conflates archival, documentary and scripted footage, blurring the distinctions between what is real, and what is simulated. His films demonstrate a concise focus on moments from life’s inevitable cycles, from celebrations to scenes of labor. These are then subject to a variety of formalist techniques, including extreme duration and editing, as well as the constraints of film itself. Through this, Everson works to obstruct the narratives he presents, which in turn shifts his films from representations of the everyday to a meditation on the abstract and emotive registers that exist within it.
Westinghouse presents two films alongside a series of rubber cast sculptures of irons manufactured by the company that lends the exhibition its name. This continues a motif within Everson’s work, which focuses on domestic objects and electronics formerly produced in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio - a reference to the pasts’ aggrandizement of American manufacturing and industry in the midwest that has now nearly dissipated. Each film depicts Derek Whitfeild as he irons a white sheet using a cast made by Everson. In Westinghouse I, shot in black and white, Whitfeild’s skin appears to merge with the black background, only visible in lens flares and flashes. On the opposing wall, the viewer sees Whitfield in soft color in Westinghouse 3, providing a quiet humanity to the repetitive, futile act. Everson has previously stated that his work is not made for the audience, but instead for the subjects he depicts. In turn, his works function to reverse a history that creates a hierarchy between subject and maker, allowing for an emotive and empathetic experience of labor, in which the laborer has the final word.
Westinghouse is Kevin Jerome Everson’s second exhibition with the gallery. Everson is the 2020 recipient of the Berlin Prize at the American Academy in Berlin. His films have been exhibited and screened widely, including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2019, The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, CA, 2019, Polly: Recent Films and Collaborations by Kevin Jerome Everson, BAMcinemafest, Brooklyn, NY, 2018, Quality Control: An Affinity for Technique, National Museum of African American History and Cultural, Washington D.C., 2018, So I Can Get Them Told: Retrospective, Tate Modern, London, 2017, Kevin Jerome Everson, Berkeley Museum of Art Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, 2017, among others. Additionally, Everson participated in the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2018, the 2017, 2012, and 2008 editions of the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, as well the 2013 Sharjah Biennial.