Cheyney Thompson and Kevin Jerome Everson exhbition: Hôtel Le Lièvre #6

Past exhibition

Hôtel Le Lièvre #6

17 - 31 July 2021

Paris

Cheyney Thompson

Kevin Jerome Everson

The sixth instalment of Hôtel le Lièvre is dedicated to the work of Cheyney Thompson and Kevin Jerome Everson. Their respective mediums, painting and film, appear in this installation as open fields that relate to one another by their shared rituals and constructed specificity. If Everson thinks of his films through painting, where frame, paint, gesture or support homologates with lens, film, screen and montage, Thompson’s paintings resonate with cinematic operations such as cutting, repeating, recording and editing, and film’s inscription into broader systems of image production. Labouring bodies, automation and circularity emerge as common themes, engaging the viewer in a cross reading of the codes that shape and inform their artistic mediums.

Through archival, documentary and scripted footage, Everson diffuses the limits between fiction and documentary, portraying detailed aspects of individual personality in everyday gestures of work and leisure. His films draw from the avant-garde wide array of experimental techniques to address race, class, and labour. In Barrell, a camera rotating 360 degrees shows the entirety of a Mississippi liquor store and its owner taking inventory. The circular motion recalls earlier experimentations on the camera’s spatial possibilities from a single axis, such as Michael Snow’s 1972 “La region centrale”. This imposed circularity is not a mere formal resource but a way of reading an equally methodical, monotonal activity. As every passage reveals a slightly different perspective of the store and the owner’s movements, an increasingly detailed observation surfaces from a collection of possible angles through repetition.

To deconstruct how a painting is created, Thompson often imposes a set of constraints to his own work, whose combinatorial logic carries the possibility of multiple and unknown results. His works tend to reveal the different processes that articulate these rules with materials on canvas, his Displacement series being a record of the tools’ interaction with the surface. A stencil made of fivemillimetre square marks is painted in black on a white support, already activating movement in a discordant figure-ground relationship. A custom snake-like silicone tool is used to force the squares out of place, extending, distorting and dragging the line into shapes that may appear as coded painterly gestures. In Displacement [32028, 8, 12] Thompson has sprayed four sweeping arcs of bright red, yellow, green, and blue onto the white support. The curved structure of the arch, which reverberates in Everson’s motion of the camera, is used to explore and span a larger area, becoming markers of the wider territory in which these works operate.