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Location: NY, United States
Fields of operation: Art, Design, Culture
Taryn Simon was born in New York in 1975. Her recent work, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, will open to the public at Tate Modern, London in May 2011 and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in September 2011. Over a four year period Simon chronicled 18 generational histories through an elaborate assembly of image and text. In each 'chapter', the external forces of territory, power, circumstance or religion collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. Simon forms a collection that is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood and other components of fate. Her previous work Contraband (2010), is an archive of global desires and perceived threats, presenting 1,075 images of items that were detained or seized from passengers and mail entering the United States from abroad. An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007), reveals objects, sites, and spaces that are integral to America's foundation, mythology, or daily functioning but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. These unseen subjects range from radioactive capsules at a nuclear waste storage facility to a black bear in hibernation to the art collection of the CIA. The Innocents (2003) documents cases of wrongful conviction in the U.S., calling into question photography’s function as a credible witness and arbiter of justice. Simon’s photographs and writing have been the subject of monographic exhibitions at institutions including Tate Modern, London (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2008); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2004); and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2003). Permanent collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, Whitney Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2011 her work was included in the 54th Venice Biennale. Her photography and writing have been featured in The New York Times Magazine and on Ted.com, CNN, BBC, and Frontline. A graduate of Brown University and a Guggenheim Fellow, Simon has been a visiting artist at Yale, Columbia, Bard College, School of Visual Arts, and Parsons School of Design. She has produced several books of her photographs and writing, including Contraband and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, both published by Steidl, and The Innocents, published by Umbrage and A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters published by Mack Books and the Neue NationalGalerie, Berlin.