Past Film/Video | Contemporary Screen

Everybody’s got a little light, under the sun

Curated by Cameron Granger


As part of Free Space, Columbus artist Cameron Granger presents a program of short films dedicated to subjects and modes of representation that help us see.

These films speak to lineage, lost time, tenderness, and what it might feel like to look into a mirror and not see anything looking back. See the complete lineup below. (program approx. 50 mins., digital video)

In addition to an interest in exploring representation in media and popular culture in his own artistic practice, Granger has created projects that focus on those who are not seen and on care for the local communities in which they are shown. Alongside of Everybody’s got a little light, Granger has collaborated with Willowbeez Soul Veg to produce a cooking video (streaming above) that demonstrates how to make a healthy meal inexpensively. Grocery kits with ingredients to make the recipes will be distributed first come first serve, and prioritizing those who are food insecure, at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Northside Branch (1423 North High) and Maroon Arts Groups’ Box Park (925 Mt. Vernon Ave.) 11 AM to 1:30 PM on December 12. Granger has also created a zine with the recipe that will be available in Free Space and can be downloaded as a PDF.

Both projects are presented as part of Free Space, a microcinema and community resource lounge located in the Wexner Center’s entry gallery, just off the lower lobby (and temporarily closed since November 20 due to COVID-19).

Program lineup with notes by Cameron Granger

Who Is Movin’ You?
(Reg Zehner, 2020, 1:54 mins.)

“A body that moves, stay movin’, but lemme ask, what is movin’ you?” So asks Zehner’s new work. Through layering and collapsing the movements of the first Black prima ballerina, Janet Collins, and contemporary R&B artist Ciara into one another, Zehner posits performance as one of several sites of Black nonspace-time. Sites created by way of rupture where the ever is always now. Portals where we might two-step toward liberation.

Self Portrait (United States Steel)
(LaToya Ruby Frazier, 2010, 3:28 mins.)

Deindustrialization in the United States, a process that began in force under Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s, left entire populations of Black and low-income folks without work or the means of relocating from the now jobless urban centers they had migrated to generations prior. This sudden loss of industry and work not only led to the dawn of mass incarceration, but a loss of the cultures that were given shape by that work. Frazier has called her camera the key to both her and her community’s survival.

Men Who Swallow Themselves in Mirrors
(Sable Elyse Smith, 2017, 8:32 mins.)

One thing I know well is absence. Specifically, what the weight of it all demands from you. The hole my father left behind felt like a person all its own. In Men Who Swallow Themselves in Mirrors, Smith gives form to that absented presence through her weaving of found footage with excerpts of her father’s video diary, taken during his incarceration.

Surrender Two
(Wesley Chavis, 2019, 3:25 mins.)

Chavis’s film is about holding: the holding of a loved one, yes, but also the desire to hold still in a moment with that loved one. It speaks to those evenings I’ve slipped into where my longing for the body before me was eclipsed only by my prayers for time to stop. It speaks to how tight my mother held me each time I would leave to get into trouble with my friends. “I want to remember every curve of her face, at this time, before the next moment.”

A Pilot for a Show about Nowhere
(Martine Syms, 2015, 24 mins.)

Syms’s A Pilot for a Show about Nowhere interrogates what she determines to be the privatization of the public imagination by way of television, and, through the pitch of her own sitcom, lays out strategies building a more equitable imagining.

Courtesy of the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

I Told You I’m Fine
(Katherine Simóne Reynolds, 2019, 9:09 mins.)

Whenever I ask my mother how she’s doing, she always responds with “I’m fine.” This fineness has also been recited by my auntie. And my grandmother, too, was “fine” for as long as I’d known her. Knowing what I know now of my family, rather than just a brave face or a mask, I think of this fineness as an incantation. A magic word said in hopes of lighting the dark because they didn’t have time to wait for the dawn.

Kale Pesto Cooking Demo
Starring: Carnell & Malik Willoughby of Willowbeez Soul Veg
Camera: Cameron Granger
Additional cinematography: Jeffery Grant Jr.
Production assistant and stills: Kendra M. Lee
Music: Common, “The Food”; Dom Deshawn, “Burgundy Fall ‘19”; Tyler, The Creator, “Smuckers”
Shot on location at 934 Gallery
Special thanks: Sheri Neale and Hakim Callwood

A black and white image of a reclining woman with another person's hand resting on her head

Surrender Two (Wesley Chavis, 2019), image courtesy of the artist

A still of a Ciara dancing in silhouette appears over an older still of ballerina Janet Collins dancing

Who Is Movin’ You? (Reg Zehner, 2020), image courtesy of the artist

A series of stills of a Black woman in a long blond wig walking in stores

I Told You I’m Fine (Katherine Simóne Reynolds, 2019), image courtesy of the artist

A split screen image with a close-up of an open book on the left and the words "She Mad" over a purple background on the right

A Pilot for a Show about Nowhere (Martine Syms, 2015), image courtesy of the artist

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More about Cameron Granger chevron-down chevron-up

Cameron A. Granger came up in Cleveland, Ohio, alongside his mother, Sandra, inheriting both her love of soul music and habit of apologizing too much. A 2017 student of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Granger uses his work to reconcile his place in and role as a product of American history and its media. His recent projects include Ten Toes Down at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; Pearl, a body of collaborative works with his mother at Ctrl+Shft in Oakland; and A library, for you, a traveling community library most recently housed at ikattha project space in Bombay, India. More at

Greater Columbus Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Huntington Bank
Nationwide Foundation

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Kaufman Development
Cardinal Health Foundation


Past Film/Video

Everybody’s got a little light, under the sun