In his films, for which he only uses a 16mm camera, Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965, Mansfield, OH, lives in Charlottseville VA) directs the lens at Black people without enforcing any kind of specific representation. The film scholar and companion of the artist, Greg de Cuir Jr., describes his work as driven by the concern to record everyday “Black experience.” The exhibition in Graz focuses on a depiction of Black American realities, and on the work of the filmmaker himself, looking at the materiality of analog film and its capacity to reproduce reality from a certain characteristic perspective. Recover, the first major solo exhibition of Everson in German-speaking Europe, combines poetic images from various Black American lives with observations of universal phenomena such as the horizon and the cosmos. This juxtaposition leads to storylines that inspire us to reflect on the different meanings of perspective. Everson makes no specific proposals as to how to interpret his works, and yet the exhibition again and again raises one and the same question: “What is our perspective through which we see the world?” A question that cannot be answered in just one sentence, and a question that is crucial.
Although Recover consists almost entirely of film screenings, it draws attention to the essential practice of sculpture-making within Everson’s work, which opens up the black box—the cinematic space within the exhibition—and carries the narrative forward. It is thus not surprising that casts of everyday objects in multiples made of metal or plastic are a key feature in the artist’s practice.
Curated by Cathrin Mayer