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Daily Art Moment: Jonathan Calm

In the self-portrait Double Vision (Record), artist Jonathan Calm assumes the position of past and present-day landscape photographers—standing under a dark cloth, using a large-format view camera. He poses in the act of creating an image of the California coastline, a site long favored by revered “masters” of photography like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Under typical circumstances, Calm’s skin color would not be visible to passersby, most of whom would probably visualize a white photographer under the dark cloth. Calm’s pointed inclusion of his unclothed body asks us to question our assumptions about who is most welcome in the world of landscape photography, who has easy access to the landscape, and who is free to move through nature with little or no resistance. This photograph, new to the Museum’s collection, will make its Portland debut in the upcoming exhibition, Ansel Adams in Our Time.

Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography

Jonathan Calm (African-American, born 1971). Double Vision (Record), 2018. Pigment print. Museum Purchase: Photography Fund, 2020.25.1. Image courtesy the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery © Jonathan Calm.