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JONATHAN CALM
Lucas Artists Fellow

  • PRACTICE : Visual Arts
  • FROM : USA
  • WEBSITE

Jonathan Calm is a visual artist in the media of photography and video, and assistant professor at Stanford University. His imagery explores aesthetic and ideological tenets of architecture and documentary journalism. In earlier work, Calm primarily engages with the relationship between photography and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities. More recently, Calm has pointed his critical eye toward American car culture, exposing how the mythical promise of a boundless journey across the land masks a more sinister reality of African American automobility. His new work draws inspiration from the Green Book, a travel guide published during the last three decades of the Jim Crow era to direct travelers of color to safe and dignified accommodations. Through a varied array of media—including performance, installation, and portraiture—Calm creates complex representations of the Black American experience on the road as a precarious privilege rather than an inalienable right.