The photographer Taryn Simon likes to show what is hidden from view. In her installation An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Simon compiles an archive of the little-known, little-seen in everyday America. The resulting images are unnerving not only for the rare subjects she captures, but for the intimacy with which they are portrayed. Simon’s images are both de-contextualized and essentially, at times surprisingly, American.
Simon’s An American Index is as well executed in theory as it is formally. As she said for Interview magazine: “I’m very particular about light, shape, geometry, and palette. I try to generate seductive images at sites that are rarely given that consideration and stage.” The result of her efforts is a body of work both familiar and yet completely uncanny. These are images worth seeing; particularly since you may never have the chance to see them again.
“She examines a culture through documentation of subjects from domains including: science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security, and religion. Confronting the divide between those with and without the privilege of access, Simon’s collection reflects and reveals that which is integral to America’s foundation, mythology, and daily functioning.” Remarkably, her ambitious portrayal of this culture is both critical and sympathetic. To see more of this series, click here.
- guest post by Zoë Ritts