Thursday June 15, 2023 to Sunday October 1
MOONSHINE: The Celestial Films of Kevin Jerome Everson
Media City Film Festival in partnership with Art Windsor-Essex presents the first solo exhibition of Kevin Jerome Everson’s work in Canada, curated by Greg de Cuir Jr. and Oona Mosna as part of Media City Film Festival’s 26th Edition.
MOONSHINE: The Celestial Films of Kevin Jerome Everson also marks the first occasion that the internationally celebrated American artist, filmmaker, and Heinz Award recipient’s ever-growing body of astral-focussed films are presented together in their entirety. This exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to experience the artist’s cinematic renderings documenting the shape, surface, and spatio-temporal movements of stellar objects, tracing their revolutionary and cosmic cycles, and capturing brief and brilliant encounters between lunar and solar bodies.
Globally recognized for his prolific body of films portraying the lives and experiences of African Americans that “poignantly explore the concepts of labour and work,” the artist’s engagement with astronomical bodies as subject in his moving image practice began with a commission from the University of Virginia, intended to celebrate Black History Month. His response to the commission’s premise culminated in a counter argument. A refusal. An inward search, and a looking up and away. The resulting film, Rough and Unequal: Oceanus Procellarum (2017), is a macroscopic study of the waxing and waning of the moon, shot using an analogue 16mm Bolex camera and a telescope at the Leander McCormick Observatory, operated by the University of Virginia where Everson is currently Professor of Art and Director of the Studio Art Program. The project ignited a fascination in the artist, and he began to commit the movement and repetition of all things superlunary to film: the sun, the moon, eclipses, and other stellar phenomena. As stated by Dr. Terri Francis: ”Through Everson’s eyes, we share the perspective of a black artist following his curiosity and craft. Informed by conceptual art and realism, Everson’s work in moving images involves abstraction and reflexivity, and it is precisely, if ironically, the lack of cultural specificity or personal reference that centres blackness in a universal experience all of us can enjoy.”
MOONSHINE brings together six works: Rough and Unequal: Oceanus Procellarum (2017), Polly One (2018), Polly Two (2018), Condor (2019), Black Vulture (2021) and the world premiere of the artist’s most recent lunar study, Thirty-Seven Degrees (2023). Everson once sarcastically remarked, “Do the privileged powers also own the moon and the sun?” In this era of for-profit space exploration, this remains an open question. Media City Film Festival and Art Windsor-Essex invite you to shift your gaze and contemplate the multitude of answers found in the space of this special exhibition.
In-person public events with artist Kevin Jerome Everson and curators Greg de Cuir Jr. and Oona Mosna will take place during Media City Film Festival’s 26th Edition. Artwork courtesy the artist, trilobite-arts DAC and Picture Palace Pictures.
Special thanks to Madeleine Molyneaux (Picture Palace Pictures), Travis Bird (Shotgun Cinema), Sophie Cavoulacos (MoMA) and David Cyrenne (Caesars Windsor).
Venue: Art Windsor-Essex
401 Riverside Dr. West
Windsor, Ontario N9A 7J1 Canada