In May 2022, Block Cinema organized “To Render the Infinite,” a screening that brought together scholars and filmmakers to consider the role of the camera and the moving image in capturing and cultivating generational and familial relationships.
The unique program connected the work of Kevin Jerome Everson, Paige Taul, & zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal in a visual genealogy. Films like Paige Taul’s 7-7-94 For my babe and Kevin Jerome Everson’s Flak-Kaserne Ludwigsburg serve as imaginative and speculative family portraits shot in vivid 16mm. zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal’s to render the infinite offers a found footage driven response to the legacy of Lorraine Hansberry, exploring notions of belonging, intimacy, and Black women’s relationship to the everyday.
Following the screening, Everson, Taul, and o’neal appeared in person to discuss the formal and thematic kinship between their films. The event was co-curated by Block Museum staff members: aeryka hollis o’neil, Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow, 2021–22; Emily Martin, Curatorial Research Associate; and Malia Haines-Stewart, Associate Film Programmer and co-presented with support from the Michael and Jane Hoffman Visiting Artist Series, the MFA in Documentary Media at Northwestern, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.
Listen to the Conversation
About the artists
Kevin Jerome Everson was born and raised in Mansfield Ohio. He is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Virginia. Everson’s films and artwork have been widely shown, at venues including Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Oberhausen Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Whitechapel Gallery in London, National Gallery in Washington DC and Centre Pompidou in Paris. The work has also been recognized through awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert Award, a Creative Capital Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, NEH Fellowships, Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, and an American Academy in Rome Prize.
Paige Taul is an Oakland, CA native who received her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Cinematography from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work engages with and challenges assumptions of black cultural expression and notions of belonging through experimental cinematography. As a part of her filmmaking practice she tests the boundaries of identity and self-identification through autoethnography to approach notions of racial authenticity in veins such as religion, style, language, and other black community based experiences.
zakkiyyah najeebah dumas-o’neal is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, and independent curator. Najeebah Dumas O’neal’s work is most often initiated by personal and social histories related to family legacy, queerness, community making, intimacy, and interiority. Her practice borrows from visual traditions such as social portraiture, video assemblage, drawing, collage, and found images. najeebah dumas o’neal’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions. She most recently held the 2019- 20 Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She is also a co-founder of CBIM (Concerned Black Image Makers), a collective driven project that prioritizes shared experiences.
Films in this program included:
(Various artists, 2008-2022, ~52 min, digital)
- to render the infinite. (zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal & Ayana Contreras, 2021, 11 min, digital)
- 10:28’30 (Paige Taul, 2019, 4 min, digital)
- I Am (Paige Taul, 2017, 3 min, digital)
- 7-7-94 For my babe (Paige Taul, 2018, 3.5 min, digital)
- The Promise (Paige Taul, 2019, 5 min, digital)
- Music from the Edge of the Allegheny Plateau (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2019, 7 min, digital)
- Flak-Kaserne Ludwigsburg (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2021, 4 min, digital)
- Vanilla Cake With Strawberry Filling (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2014, 2 min, digital)
- Juneteenth Columbus, Mississippi (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2013, 2 min, digital)
- Sister (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2019, 2 min, digital)
- Patent 1,571,148 (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2022, 4:40 min, digital)
- Ninety-Three (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2008, 3 min, digital)