MOONSHINE, on view at Art WIndsor Essex June 15–October 1, 2023, also represents the first time that the artist’s complete body of astral-focussed films are presented together, offering visitors a rare chance to experience Everson’s cinematic renderings documenting the shape, surface, and spatio-temporal movements of stellar objects, tracing their revolutionary and cosmic cycles to capture brief and brilliant encounters between lunar and solar bodies.
Recognized internationally as one of the most significant moving image artists working today, Kevin Jerome Everson has completed more than 200 films since 1997, quietly assembling the most remarkable collection of contemporary African American life ever committed to cinema. Everson’s short film Ninety-Three (2008), which previously screened in Competition at MCFF in 2009, is currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of Inheritance, a major multimedia exhibition inspired by the work of MCFF alumni, award-winner, and commission artist, Ephraim Asili.
Everson is no stranger to Media City Film Festival and Windsor-Detroit. He has participated as an MCFF artist in residence creating short films, including It Seems to Hang On (2015) which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, Grand Finale(2015), Regal Unlimited (2015), and other works. MCFF has also exhibited more than 50 films by Kevin Jerome Everson in Windsor-Detroit and internationally since 2009. He has also received mid-career film retrospectives at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark (2021), Cinema du Réel/Centre Pompidou (2019), Harvard Film Archive (2018), Tate Modern/Film (2017), the Whitney Museum of American Art (2011), and Media City Film Festival (2011). His works are in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Centre national des arts plastiques, Whitney Museum of American Art and many institutions worldwide.
Celebrated for his prolific body of films that poignantly explore the concepts of labour and work, the artist’s engagement with astronomical bodies as a subject in his moving image practice began with a commission from the University of Virginia, where Everson is the Commonwealth Professor of Art and Director of Studio Arts, intended to celebrate Black History Month.
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 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. MCFF and AWE invite you to shift your gaze and contemplate the multitude of answers found in the space of this special exhibition.
Additional programming connected to this landmark exhibition and Media City Film Festival’s 26th edition, held in person in Windsor-Detroit this fall (November 7–11, 2023), will be announced in the coming months. Don’t miss your chance to experience this rare event celebrating one of the 21st century’s most significant artists.