press release

Louisiana One Work

TARYN SIMON. An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

American artist Taryn Simon (b. 1975) uncovers the hidden places of the USA almost like a spy, but at the same time she is driven by the collector’s fascination with the rare or the curious.

With her seminal work An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar Taryn Simon portrays American society through photographs of places that are normally inaccessible to the general public.

After September 11th, when the American media and government were seeking hidden and unknown sites beyond its borders, most notably weapons of mass destruction, Simon chose to look inward at her own country, to confront the boundaries of the citizen, both self-imposed and real, and the divide between privileged and public access to knowledge.

Behind every single picture in An American Index lie years of research, culminating in one single photograph with accompanying text. Together, the texts and images uncover the hidden structures that are concealed beneath the surface in the national culture of the USA, and which encompass the foundation, mythology and everyday functioning of the country.

The subjects have been taken from science, religion, medicine, entertainment, nature, national security and politics. They include radioactive waste sunk in water; an issue of Playboy Magazine in Braille; the cage in which a prisoner on Death Row can move around out of doors; a living HIV virus; and an inbred albino tiger.

The exhibition is part of the series Louisiana One Work, which focuses on one striking work by a contemporary artist.