Artist Talk: Tabitha Soren
Tuesday, April 4
This event is free for students with ID and Aperture Members at the $50 level and above.
Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with the Photography Program at Parsons School of Design, of The New School, is pleased to present an artist talk with Tabitha Soren. Soren’s work centers on the aesthetic quality of both internal feelings and the photographic process; from aggressive crashing waves to capturing the expressions of someone caught mid-run, Soren’s work touches on emotions—anxiety, bliss, hopeless ambitions, motivation to succeed—that we all often feel. The end product is a photograph of quiet beauty that often contains an underlying tension between viewer and photographer. The tactile nature of her work can be felt when she stretches the medium to a point of abstraction, as seen in her tintypes of baseball players and the marks made on screens left behind by unknown users. These simple acts, such as touching a screen, quickly become beautiful collages that hover between the space of photography and self-reflection.
Tabitha Soren first began photographing a group of minor league draft picks for the Oakland A’s—young men coming into the major league farm system straight from high school or college. Since then, she has followed the players through their baseball lives, an alternate reality of long bus rides, on-field injuries, friendships and marriages entered and exited, constant motion, and very hard work, often for very little return.
Fifteen years after that first shoot, Fantasy Life portrays a selection of these stories, gathering together a richly textured series of photographs taken on the field and behind the scenes at games, along with commentaries by each of the players and memorabilia from their lives—from kindergarten-age baseball cards to x-rays of player injuries.
Tabitha Soren (b. 1967, San Antonio) lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is included in public collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of California; Transformer Station, Cleveland, Ohio; Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco; New Orleans Museum of Art; Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans. Her work has been featured in Dear Dave, McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, Blink, Slate, New York, Sports Illustrated, California Sunday Magazine, and ESPN The Magazine. She is represented by the Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles.
This program is supported, in part by the Grace Jones Richardson Testamentary Trust and William Talbott Hillman Foundation, and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, and with additional support from generous individuals, including the Board of Trustees and Members of Aperture Foundation.
Image: Tabitha Soren, Motel pool, spring training, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2014; from Fantasy Life: Baseball and the American Dream (Aperture, 2017)