Taryn Simon captures the essence of vast, generation-spanning stories by photographing the descendants of people at the center of the narrative. In this riveting talk she shows a stream of these stories from all over the world, investigating the nature of genealogy and the way our lives are shaped by the interplay of many different forces.
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ABOUT Taryn Simon
“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.”