In Kim Darling’s series, Power Position, the artist used iconography of police uniforms, graphic images, and objects and combined them with imagery and colors often associated with powerlessness. Darling photographed a woman against a pink background who contorts her body into a peacefully yogic, submissive and sometimes unusual positions. These images address the abuses inflicted by government, civil, and religious authorities on people around the world. Power Position suggests the disempowerment of institutionalized authority figures and provokes the view to consider our abilities to self-govern.

Although “power position” is a concept from Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of studying one’s position within one’s surroundings, here it alludes to the body language employed by the corporate world to exude confidence.

Darling’s work is topical in this particular moment, as conservative politicians and the news media attempt to demonize protest movements in response to the all- too-common police killings of unarmed civilians across the country.

In a society that privileges incarceration instead over education, Darling shifts the paradigm to advocate the powerfulness of cultural investigation and edification.

ABOUT KIM DARLING

Kim Darling is a visual artist, gallery owner, and curator in Omaha, Nebraska. Using paint, spray enamel, pastels, pens, and pencils, she explores taboo iconography and sacred/profane dichotomies by making marks in a method similar to automatic writing. Layer upon layer of graphic shapes are synthesized into a cacophonous flow, laid out in provocative palettes and balanced compositions.

Darling earned her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her work has been exhibited in solo and two-person shows at a multitude of local and regional galleries, and is featured in prominent collections throughout the country. She opened Sweatshop Gallery in 2012, a feat that has since shifted the Benson neighborhood of Omaha into an artistic hub. 

Photos by Dana Damewood