Self Landing: Daguerrotypes on the Western Landscape
January 31, 2024


Binh Danh has been traveling across the West for years, making scenic daguerreotypes in a mobile darkroom he called Louis, after Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype process in 1839. His photographs ask us to reflect on the land literally in the polished mirror surface of the silver plate, provoking questions of politics, landscape, history, and the self. He will discuss how his past work relates to his current work.

Binh Danh reconfigures traditional photographic techniques and processes in unconventional ways to delve into the connection between history, identity, and place. Danh is noted for his contemporary daguerreotypes of national parks. Their reflective surfaces enable people of all backgrounds to see themselves as a part of the beauty of the American landscape.

His work has been collected by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the San Jose Museum of Art, among others. “Binh Danh: The Enigma of Belonging” was the inaugural recipient of the Minami Book Grant for Asian American Visual Artists at Radius Books in 2023. He is an associate professor of art at San José State University.