In "An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar", Taryn Simon documents spaces that are integral to Americas foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. She has photographed rarely seen sites from domains including: science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security and religion. This index examines subjects that, while provocative or controversial, are currently legal. The work responds to a desire to discover unknown territories, to see everything. 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. Photographed with a large format view camera (except when prohibited), Simons 70 colour plates form a seductive collection that reflects and reveals a national identity.
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 photography's 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. Simon's photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including 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. Permanent collections include: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She works with Gagosian Gallery.