Born in New York in 1975, Taryn Simon is at the forefront of contemporary photography practice. Her artistic medium is based around three equal elements: photography, text, and graphic design, which combined investigate the limitations of absolute understanding, examining the gaps between each element and how this can lead to disorientation and ambiguity. In the last ten years she has created a suite of projects which deal with a number of theoretical and visual concerns. Her formal interest in arrangement and cataloguing has seen her experiment with different methods of presentation and display, particularly in A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters (2008-11) in which she travelled around the world researching bloodlines: splitting each work in the final piece up into three segments, she presented large portrait sequences of related individuals on the left, a text panel containing details and narratives in the centre, and 'footnote images' on the right of fragmented pieces of established narratives and other photographic evidence. Simon has also skilfully and poetically tackled aspects of the underbelly of American life.Her 2009 project, Contraband, saw her systematically photograph thousands of items received through customs and the international postal service at JFK airport, categorising them into often grotesque and bizarre groupings.
In An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Taryn Simon documents spaces that are integral to America's foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. Taryn Simon has been the subject of a number of monographic exhibitions, including MoMA, New York (2012), Tate Modern, London (2011), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011) and the Whitney Museum, New York (2007). Taryn's work was recently featured in the 2013 Carnegie International. Published in close collaboration with the artist, this brand new book will provide a complete overview of her practice to date. With new and re-published essays by amongst others Salman Rushdie, Homi Bhabha, Daniel Baumann, Tim Griffin, Tina Kuklieski, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Elisabeth Sussman. With an introduction by Simon Baker, Curator of Photography at Tate Modern.