Taryn Simon

An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar


Paris

  • Forensic Anthropology Research Facility, Decomposing Corpse, 2007
    Chromogenic print, framed
    95 x 113 cm
  • The Central Intelligence Agency Main Entrance Hall, CIA Original Headquarters Building, Langley, Virginia, 2003/2007
    Chromogenic print, framed
    94,6 x 113 cm
  • Dynamo III, Studying Magnetic Fields and Impending Pole Reversal University of Maryland, Monlinear Dynamics Laboratory, College Park, Maryland, 2007
    Chromogenic print, framed
    95 x 113 cm
  • , Research Marijuana Crop Grow Room, National Center for Natural Products Research, Oxford, Mississippi, 2007
    Chromogenic print, framed
    95 x 113 cm
  • , Cryopreservation Unit Cryonics Institute Clinton Township, Michigan, 2007
    Chromogenic print, framed
    95 x 113 cm

Press release

For this project, artist Taryn Simon assumes the dual role of shrewd informant and collector of curiosities, compiling an inventory of what lies hidden and out-of-view within the borders of the United States. She examines a culture through careful documentation of diverse subjects from the realms of science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security, and religion. Transforming the unknown into a seductive and intelligible form, Simon confronts the divide between those with and without the privilege of access. Her sometimes ethereal, sometimes foreboding compositions, shot with a large-format view camera whenever conditions allowed, vary as much as her subject matter, which ranges from radioactive capsules at a nuclear waste storage facility to a black bear in hibernation. Offering visions of the unseen, the photographs of An American Index capture the strange magic at the foundation of a national identity…