With a large-format camera and a knack for talking her way into forbidden zones, Taryn Simon photographs portions of the American infrastructure inaccessible to its inhabitants.
With An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Taryn Simon goes on the hunt for America's dirty secrets. Gaining entrance to places as diverse as a white tiger breeding facility, the JFK Airport quarantine area, abortion clinics and virus-research labs, Simon shows the things that are integral to America's foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. In her earlier book, The Innocents, she shot portraits of more than 80 wrongly accused death-row inmates who were exonerated by DNA testing, and investigated photography's role in that process.
But Simon's photographs stretch beyond mere documentation. Brimming with radiant light, unsettling atmosphere and sinister implications, they pulse with artistic mystery.
After having been premiered at the Tate Modern in London and at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie in 2011, Taryn's work, titled "A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters", will be at MoMA in New York from May 2nd to September 3rd, 2012.
"She clearly delights in exposing, in a quasitabloid fashion, America's underbelly."Bridget L. Goodbody, New York Times
“In this project, I wanted to … find an absolute catalog, something that I couldn't interrupt, curate or edit by choice. This led me to blood.”
“I was interested in … whether our fate is determined by blood, chance or circumstance.”
“Archives exist because there's something that can't necessarily be articulated. Something is said in the gaps between all the information.”
“It's almost machine-like, the way people are born and people die and the stories keep coming and coming.”