Dates and times
Filmed during the US Presidential Election Day on 8 November 2016, this observational work which captures black staff members working in the polling station at Tonsler Park, Charlottesville, Virginia on the day when the battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was decided.
Kevin Jerome Everson records the staff taking an oath, seeing rows of voters pass as they hand out voting slips, while no one seems aware of the camera that is standing there motionless. Conversations change to hubbub, backs block the camera’s view – this is democracy in practice and every vote counts.
Everson’s wealth of filmmaking in short and feature-length form focuses on the work culture and labour of black Americans. The title, Tonsler Park is named after Benjamin Tonsler, a local Afro-American school director who continued to teach older Afro-American pupils despite it being illegal to do the rules during the era of segregation in the US.
Kevin Jerome Everson (b.1965 Mansfield, Ohio, USA) 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 in 2017; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY in 2011 and the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2009. His work has been featured at the 2008, 2012, and 2017 Whitney Biennials and the 2013 Sharjah Biennial.
Tonsler Park received its world premiere the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2017 and screened as part of the BFI London Film Festival that same year.