NEW YORK.- The Whitney Museum of American Art debuts a selection of photographs from artist Taryn Simons newly completed body of work, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar. For this project Simon, whose work often bridges the world of art and politics, documents spaces that are integral to Americas foundation, its mythology, and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a wider audience. In compiling An American Index, Simon culls from the diverse domains of science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security and religion.
In her juxtaposition of image and text, Simon makes use of the annotated photographs capacity to engage and inform the public. Transforming that which is off-limits or under-the-radar into a visible and intelligible form, she confronts the divide between the privileged access of the few and the limited access of the public. Her sometimes ethereal, sometimes cinematic compositions, shot with a large format view camera (except when prohibited), vary as much as her subject matter, which ranges from radioactive capsules at a nuclear waste facility to a great white shark held in captivity. Offering visions of the frequently unseen, and explanations for the unexplained, Simon captures the strange magic locked beneath the surface, at the foundation of the American national identity.
About the Artist - Taryn Simon was born in New York in 1975. She obtained her BA at Brown University. In 2001 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography. Simon is best known for her highly acclaimed work, The Innocents, which documents cases of wrongful convictions in the United States and investigates photographys role in that process. Her photography and writing have been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, CNN, BBC, Frontline, and NPR. Simons photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, at such places as P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Haus Der Kunst, Munich; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her work is included in numerous permanent collections, among them the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.