Review: 'The Natural World' at iMOCA 

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click to enlarge From Tabitha Soren's 'Running' series
  • From Tabitha Soren's 'Running' series

Former MTV news reporter Tabitha Soren's photographs, collected in the series Running, portray people in motion against a variety of landscapes. You see them in urban and rural settings; in daylight and at night.

In one, a blur of a man runs through an upscale, residential area of a West Coast city. You see him from above, and you wonder what propels him forward; maybe the city's not as benign as it appears. In another, a woman runs towards you through an isolated patch of desert while looking backward; what, or who, is she afraid of?

A paradox of photography, as in painting, is that a still image can create the illusion of movement. And because human emotion is not usually static, there's kinetic energy not just in the limbs but in the charged facial expressions of the subjects captured by Soren's camera.

The video installation of Purdue professor Min Kim Park, in which you see nude Caucasian women of various ages in motion against a white backdrop, also seems paradoxical. That is, the title of this work, "Finding a Pose," suggests that the female subjects might eventually find a pose with which they feel comfortable. However, the writhing and squirming motions of the women in the eye of the camera make me wonder if such an endpoint is really possible. Through July 21 at iMOCA (Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art)

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Dan Grossman

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