Partial Differential Equation (2020)

Kevin Jerome Everson

Partial Differential Equation Kevin Jerome Everson USA16mm > digital8.5 min2020

Mathematician Tariah Gatlin commands the screen in this entrancing, durational study of chalk and code. 

Everson is interested in unassuming people who not only work but who also do their jobs well—so well that their processes approach the automatic motions of an artist. Everson’s own creative work seems akin to what the art critic and curator Lawrence Alloway described as Hard-edge painting: economy of form, fullness of color, neatness of surface. The craftsman typically produces something that can satisfy lay consumption. The craft itself is praiseworthy because of the path travelled in order to realize form—art is making this path malleable through imitation and repetition, which the sociologist Gabriel Tarde wrote were among the keys that open up the arcana of the universe. Everson’s cinema opens up the arcana of the everyday. – Greg de Cuir Jr. 

Streaming Details

This film is available to stream globally.

Program Partners

This film is co-presented with Mothlight Microcinema.

Image credits: all artworks, and stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Kevin Jerome Everson, trilobite-arts DAC, Picture Palace Pictures. Special thanks to Madeleine Molyneaux.

about the artist

Kevin Jerome Everson (USA) is an artist born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1965. His films frequently depict Black working-class communities, stretching across a variety of themes and subjects including migration, illusion, astronomy, human kinetics, entomology, historical reenactment, musicology, botany, the folk tale, and everything under the sun. He received a BFA from University of Akron (1987), and an MFA from Ohio University (1990). He has completed 200+ films since 1997, quietly assembling one of the most remarkable collections of contemporary African American life ever committed to cinema. His films have been exhibited widely at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), High Line Channel, Encontro de Cinema Negro, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Andrew Kreps Gallery, Toronto International Film Festival, Walker Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Berlinale, Black Star Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, Venice Film Festival, and hundreds more. He has received mid-career retrospectives at Cinéma du Réel/Centre Pompidou (2019), Harvard Film Archive (2018), Tate Modern (2017), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2017), Visions du Réel (2012), the Whitney Museum of American Art (2011), and Media City Film Festival (2011). His work has been featured at the 2008, 2012, and 2017 Whitney Biennials, the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, and the 2018 Carnegie International. He is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award (2012), Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities (2019), Berlin Prize (2020), and Guggenheim and American Academy in Rome Fellowships, among many other awards and accolades. MCFF has screened 50+ films by Everson since 2009 and has hosted him as an artist in residence. He is Professor of Art at the University of Virginia. He lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Artist interview