Jonathan Calm is a visual artist in the media of photography and video, and assistant professor at Stanford University.
His earlier work focuses on the relationship between technologies of representation and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities. His exploration of the socio-cultural, historical and geopolitical imprint of public housing on both sides of the Atlantic puts into perspective, questions and implodes the white utopian legacy of European Modernism to reveal hidden narratives and forgotten participants.
More recently, Calm has pointed his critical eye toward the representation of Black (auto)mobility, exposing how the mythical promise of a boundless journey across the land often masks a more compromised reality for African Americans. Through a varied array of media, he creates complex images of the Black American experience on the road as a precarious privilege rather than an inalienable right.
Photographing Jim Crow-Era 'Green Book' Locations
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Toledo Museum of Art
Jonathan Calm ‘Hands on the Wheel: African American (Auto)mobility in Space, Time and Mind’
February 19 – April 16, 2022