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Blue Sky : 2020 En Foco Fellowship Exhibition : Johnnie Chatman : i forgot where we were…


In this chapter of his self-portrait series, i forgot where we were…, Johnnie Chatman inserts himself into the topography of the American West, drawing attention to the exclusionary narratives, myths, and histories that have long been associated with these iconic landscapes. Through these visual interventions, Chatman shifts the focus to black histories and experiences. Chatman observes, “Like the black body, the West is a complex, unstable signifier given meaning by those who have lived within it, passed through it, conquered it, settled, farmed, militarized, urbanized, and dreamed it…the project explores the ambiguity and multiplicity of blackness oscillating between a space of romance and critique, objective research, and personal narrative.”

Johnnie Chatman is a Californian lens-based artist currently residing in New York. He holds an MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Chatman’s work has been featured in exhibitions across the United States, including at Fraenkel Gallery, HereArts, SF Camerawork, Figge Art Museum, and Sioux Art Center. His work can be found in many private and public collections including at the Figge Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work has been featured in publications including Dear Dave, Nueva Lutz, and Zoetrope All-Story. He is also the founder and curator of Terms & Conditions, an experimental film screening series. In 2020, Chatman was awarded an En Foco Photography Fellowship.


En Foco Fellowship program


2020 En Foco Fellowship Exhibition
Johnnie Chatman: 
i forgot where we were…

April 1–May 29, 2021
Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts
122 NW 8th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 USA

Artist talk with Johnnie Chatman
Wednesday, May 19, 5:00 PM PDT on Zoom

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