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African-American Automobility: The Dangerous Freedom of the Open Road

Presented by Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery at Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery, Nashville TN

Apr 13 2018
Sep 15 2018
African-American Automobility: The Dangerous Freedom of the Open Road

African-American Automobility: The Dangerous Freedom of the Open Road is a solo exhibition of works by Jonathan Calm. Jonathan Calm is a visual artist and assistant professor in Photography at the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. His interests include urban architecture and housing, and he is currently developing new work around the representation of African-American automobility, featuring performance, reenactment and portraiture to evoke the tension between moving and still images and bodies.

For this exhibit, Jonathan Calm has created large murals of black-and-white photographs that capture both urban and rural landscapes in different areas of the country. These images provide a backdrop from which performers emerge at regular intervals to act out and deliver monologues relating to the origin of the photographs. Through their performance, they transform the pictures into historical documents that literally “come alive” and become oral history— highlighting how history can be performed at will. 45 images—grouped in grids of nine— memorialize a small selection of individuals of color who lost their lives when stopped for “driving while black” by depicting the locations where they were “targeted.” Reaching back to the Rodney King beating in the early 1990s, Calm seeks to pay sobering homage to the more and less known names claimed by an ongoing cycle of victimization that provokes newsworthy outrage one moment and recedes into mainstream media oblivion the next. Through a series of self-portraits, he contemplates his own experience in the space constituted by the dangerous freedom of the open road.

Image credit: Jonathan Calm. Lorraine Motel I, 2017. Silver gelatin; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and LMAK Projects, New York. © Jonathan Calm.

African-American Automobility: The Dangerous Freedom of the Open Road is in collaboration with Stanford Art Gallery.

Source: Submitted


$6/Seniors and Groups of 10+
FREE Admission/Ages 18 and Under

Contact: (615) 329-8720


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Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery

1000 17th Avenue North, (On the corner of Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd. and Jackson Ave.), Nashville, TN 37208
(Neighborhood: North Nashville)

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Free parking is available right in front of the Carl Van Vechten Gallery. The driveway is on Jackson Street and looks like a sidewalk. Additional parking is available behind the gallery; the entrance to that parking lot is on D.B. Todd, Jr., Blvd. Visitors parking in the lot behind the gallery should inform a Gallery Ambassador upon arrival. This is the best parking lot for visitors requiring wheelchair access; if this is the case, please call when you arrive or send a member of your group to the front entrance so that a Gallery Ambassador or member of staff can greet you and facilitate access. There is also a parking lot across Jackson Street, and there is a crosswalk linking the lot and the gallery.

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