taryn si­mon

Cat­a­loguer of truth

Wallpaper - - October -

The Amer­i­can artist-pho­tog­ra­pher Taryn Si­mon has built her ca­reer as­sem­bling hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs into weirdly pre­cise cat­e­gories, such as ‘de­scen­dants of Hitler’s lawyer’ or ‘items con­fis­cated from pas­sen­gers at John F Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port’, thus re­veal­ing the hid­den pat­terns be­hind seem­ingly ran­dom images.

As Guest Ed­i­tor, she fo­cused on two projects: the on­line Im­age At­las, which com­pares by coun­try the im­age re­sults de­liv­ered by in­ter­net search en­gines; and The Pic­ture Col­lec­tion, based on the New York Pub­lic Li­brary’s im­age archive. ‘It is a beau­ti­ful and pre­cious thing,’ says Si­mon. ‘Ev­ery sin­gle im­age has been cu­rated, and I just shot what was in each folder.’

For her lat­est work, An Oc­cu­pa­tion of Loss, she in­vited 30 pro­fes­sional mourn­ers from around the world to per­form in New York in 2016, and get­ting them there be­came part of the show. CS

Taryn Si­mon, An Avatar, 2008

Si­mon re­vis­ited this art­work, show­ing a com­pos­ite po­lit­i­cal fig­ure cre­ated from orig­i­nal pho­to­graphs of world lead­ers she took be­tween 2003 and 2008. The artist trav­elled within Syria, Cuba, the US, Le­banon, Is­rael, France and Pales­tine to col­lect the com­po­nent parts. As res­o­nant now as it was a decade ago,

An Avatar raises ques­tions about power, author­ity, ve­rac­ity and sem­blance

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