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Shifter: Waiting | with Kevin Jerome Everson and Nicole Fleetwood

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This eight-part series explores how artists, architects, historians, and theorists grapple with the condition of waiting.

About this Event

A businessperson waits for a delayed subway. A wrongly convicted prisoner awaits justice. A refugee waits for their asylum case. A nation waits for the promised boon of economic development. The world waits for a vaccine. Nature waits for its exploitation to end.

Waiting is usually what we do between things. It is the space between two destinations, an empty and anxious time to fill with distractions. But when we look more closely, we see that waiting is also an activity in itself, bristling with energy, uncertainty, and inequality. What does the condition of waiting reveal about us, our world, and the natural environment that sustains it?

This series of eight sessions offer glimpses into the thought and practices of artists, architects, historians, and theorists who grapple with this question.

In this hour-long session, Kevin Jerome Everson will discuss his cinematic work exploring the temporality of incarceration. Nicole Fleetwood will discuss her scholarly and curatorial work on the US carceral system’s impact on Black lives and artwork that emerges from and reflects on it. A brief moderated discussion and audience Q&A will follow.

This online series will use Zoom with live closed-captioning. This event is free and open to the general public. RSVP required to receive Zoom link.

For more information, contact Emily Garner at eagarner@mit.edu.

These events, and the resulting publication, Shifter 25: Waiting, are co-hosted by MIT List Visual Arts Center and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in conjunction with solo exhibitions by Sreshta Rit Premnath to be held in March 2021 (MIT List Center) and October 2021 (CAC).

About the Speakers

Kevin Jerome Everson lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia. He holds a MFA from Ohio University, and a BFA from the University of Akron, and is Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Everson was awarded the 2012 Alpert Award for Film/Video. His films has been the subject of mid-career retrospectives at the Tate Modern (Fall 2017); Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea (February 2017); Viennale (2014); Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland (2012), The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2011) and Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2009. His work has been featured at the 2008, 2012, and 2017 Whitney Biennials and the 2013 Sharjah Biennial.

Nicole Fleetwood is a writer, curator, and professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Professor Fleetwood’s books are Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press, 2011). She is co-editor of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation” and has co-curated exhibitions and programs on art and mass incarceration at the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture Foundation, Cleveland Public Library, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Zimmerli Art Museum. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, ACLS, Whiting Foundation, Denniston Hill Residency, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NEH.

About Shifter

Shifter explores the intersection of contemporary art, theory, and experimental writing. They convene public dialogues and produce publications. Shifter is programmed by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.

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