The luggage store presents:
film and video by Kevin Jerome Everson and Akosua Adoma Owusu
guest curated by Arnold J. Kemp
At the heart of this two-person exhibition is the relationship between two Black artists who will be showing their work side-by-side for the first time. In fact Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984) is a protege of prolific filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965).
Through means that are purely visual,, this exhibition seeks to explore the relationships between the work of Everson and Owusu who initially came into contact with each other as teacher and student. The exhibition will reveal the correspondences between Owusu’s and Everson’s works, which exist on the cusp between reality and fiction and the displacement between America and Africa.
This exhibition also seeks to bring works that are usually shown in film festivals and small screening rooms into the setting of an experimental art gallery.
For more than twelve years, Kevin Jerome Everson (Charlottesville,Virginia) has been making films about the working-class culture of Black Americans and people of African descent. He has completed a prodigious number of works, including three features and over forty short 16mm, 35mm and digital films.
Born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, Everson frequently records family, friends, and life in the Midwest, but he has also developed art projects in Rome and elsewhere. His films look for the art in everyday life, revealing people’s relationship to their crafts and focusing on the conditions, tasks, gestures, and materials in communities.
Much of Everson’s recent work is inspired by found footage. He manipulates news and sports footage, old films, still photographs, and image files in various ways, subtly repositioning or restaging actions and movements to highlight or shift the original emphasis.
Everson’s presentation at the Luggage Store will include several premieres of shorts as well as:
Emergency Needs (2007), based on a press conference with Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes
The Reverend E. Randall T. Osborn, First Cousin (2007) about the art of the cut-away.
According to¦ (2007) with a rich source of found footage and shot film, is a short film about several versions of tragic events in southern rural Black America.
Ninety-Three (2008) a re-enactment of a family birthday.
Akosua Adoma Owusu a Virginia born Ghanaian filmmaker and artist, earned a Distinguished BA degree in Media Studies and Fine Art at the University of Virginia. A protegé of prolific filmmaker Kevin Everson, Owusu went on to enroll at California Institute of the Arts in the MFA program of Film & Video and Fine Art. Inspired by her bi-national identity andWest African griot folklore, she creates personal film essays to insert herself in the tradition of African storytelling.
Her thesis film, Me Broni Ba (my white baby) gained the attention at high profile festivals worldwide, including Rotterdam, BFI London, Cannes, MoMA, Visions du Reel, SanFrancisco, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, DOK Leipzig, among numerousothers. It won Best Documentary prizes at Chicago Underground and Athens Film &Video Festival and Special Mention at Real Life Documentary Festival.
Owusu worked as a Development and Production intern at Echo Lake Productions and at HBO Films.
Owusu was awarded an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences grant to provide post-production assistance on Chris Rock’s critically acclaimed documentary, Good Hair. Her videos have shown at a variety of ar venues including the Studio Museum at Harlem, BOZAR in Brussels, LA Freewaves, New Langton Arts, Spaces Gallery, and CCH’s PounderKone Artspace. She is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2008. Owusu was a featured artist at the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar.
Owusu’s presentation at the Luggage Store will include:
Revealing Roots (2010, 9:00 split screen, color). a silent re enactment of one of the most dramatic scenes from the television version of Alex Haley’s “Roots” combining found footage and scenes taht start Owusu along with other African actors.
Intermittent Delight (2007, 5;00 color)
Me Broni Ba (2008), a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi,
Drexciya (2010) referencing an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off of slave ships that had adapted to breathe underwater in their mother’s wombs.
Boyant : A Michael Jordan in a Speedo is Far Beyond the Horizon. (2008, 4:00 color)
Both Everson and Owusu make objects as well as films and they will present a group of sculptural works as well that emphasize for the viewer the way the materially inflected history of racial politics remains always immanent, even if, at times, occluded in symbolism and metaphor.
The exhibition’s curator is Arnold J. Kemp (b. 1968), an artist and writer and former associate curator (1993 – 2003) at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He is the recipient of grants and awards from Printed Matter Inc., Art Matters, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Artadia Fund for Art, and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and theBerkeley Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum. He is the Chair of the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies Program at Pacific Northwest College of Art.