Taryn Simon’s The Color of a Flea’s Eye presents a history of the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection―a legendary trove of more than one million prints, photographs, postcards, posters and images from disused books and periodicals. Since its inception in 1915, the Picture Collection has been a vital resource for writers, historians, artists, filmmakers, fashion designers and advertising agencies. In her work The Picture Collection (2012-20), Simon (born 1975) highlighted the impulse to organize visual information, and pointed to the invisible hands behind seemingly neutral systems of image gathering. Each of Simon’s photographs is made up of an array of images selected from a given subject folder, such as Chiaroscuro, Handshaking, Haircombing, Express Highways, Financial Panics, Israel, and Beards and Mustaches. In artfully overlapped compositions, only slices of the individual images are visible, each fragment suggesting its whole. Simon sees this extensive archive of images as the precursor to internet search engines. Such an unlikely futurity in the past is at the core of the Picture Collection. The digital is foreshadowed in the analogue, at the same time that history―its classifications, its contents―seems the stuff of projection. Simon spent years sifting through letters, memos and records that reveal an untold story between the library and artists, media, government and a broader public. These documents also divulge the removal and transfer of photographs from the democratically circulating picture-collection folders to the photography collection in the late 1980s when their marketplace value became apparent. Simon’s selection of photographs from these transfers highlights gender, immigration, race and economy in America alongside the technical development of photography. Produced in direct collaboration with the artist, the book contains 57 individually hand tipped-in plates, numerous gatefolds and a variety of unique papers, as well as essays by Joshua Chuang, head of The New York Public Library’s Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, and Tim Griffin, executive director and chief curator at The Kitchen.
This publication reissues a much sought-after photobook. Taryn Simon is an American artist whose works combine photography, text and graphic design. Her practice involves extensive research, in projects guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification. For Contraband, 1,075 photographs were taken at both the US Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the US Postal Service International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. From November 16 to November 20, 2009, Simon remained on site and continuously photographed items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the United States from abroad. The list of items includes pork, syringes, Botox, GBL date rape drug, heroin, imitation Lipitor, Ketamine tranquillizers, Lidocaine, Lorazepam, locust tree seed, ginger root, deer tongues, cow urine, Cohiba cigars and Egyptian cigarettes. The volume is published in three differently colored covers.
In 1936 an American ornithologist named James Bond published the definitive taxonomy Birds of the West Indies. Ian Fleming, an active bird-watcher living in Jamaica, appropriated the name for his novel’s lead character. He found it “flat and colourless,” a fitting choice for a character intended to be “anonymous… a blunt instrument in the hands of the government.” In Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies, Taryn Simon casts herself as James Bond (1900–89) the ornithologist, and identifies, photographs and classifies all the birds that appear within the 24 films of the James Bond franchise. The appearance of many of the birds was unplanned and virtually undetected, operating as background noise for whatever set they happened to fly into. Simon’s ornithological discoveries occupy a liminal space―confined within the fiction of the James Bond universe and yet wholly separate from it. This taxonomy of 331 birds is a precise consideration of a new nature found in an alternate reality.
Taryn Simon (born 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked in photography, text, sculpture and performance. Guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification, her practice involves extensive research into the power and structure of secrecy and the precarious nature of survival. Simon’s works have been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Tate Modern, London (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007). Permanent collections include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, the Guggenheim Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work is included in the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). She is a graduate of Brown University and a Guggenheim Fellow. Simon lives and works in New York.
A significant and extensive book on a major new body of work by the American artist Taryn Simon. Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, I–XVIII was produced over a four-year period (2008–2011), during which Simon travelled the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories. In each of the eighteen “chapters” that make up the work, the external forces of territory, power, circumstance, or religion collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. Her subjects feuding families in Brazil, victims of genocide in Bosnia, the first woman to hijack an aircraft, and the living dead in India. Her collection is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate. This volume accompanies the exhibitions at Tate Modern, London (May 2011), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (September 2011), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (May–September 2012).
In 1936, an ornithologist called James Bond released the definitive taxonomy of birds found in the Caribbean, titled Birds of the West Indies. Ian Fleming, an active bird watcher living in Jamaica, subsequently appropriated the name for his novel’s lead character. This co-opting of names was the first in a series of substitutions that would become central to the construction of the James Bond narrative. In a meticulous and comprehensive dissection of the Bond films, artist Taryn Simon inventoried women, weapons and vehicles, constant elements in the films between 1962 and 2012. The contents of these categories function as essential accessories to the narrative’s myth of the seductive, powerful and invincible western male. Maintaining the illusion the narrative relies upon–an ageless Bond, state-of-the-art weaponry, herculean vehicles and desirable women–requires constant replacements, and a contract exists between Bond and the viewer, which binds the narrative to that set of expectations. Continually satisfying those obligations allowed Bond to become a ubiquitous brand, a signifier to be activated with each subsequent novel and film. In Birds of the West Indies, Simon presents a visual database of interchangeable variables used in the production of fantasy, through which she examines the economic and emotional value generated by their repetition.
Taryn Simon was born in New York in 1975. She is a graduate of Brown University and a Guggenheim Fellow. Her photographs and writing have been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012); Tate Modern, London (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007) and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2003). In 2011 her work was included in the 54th Venice Biennale.
Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places is indisputably a canonic body of work―a touchstone for those interested in photography and the American landscape. Remarkably, despite having been the focus of numerous shows and books, including the eponymous 1982 Aperture classic (expanded and reissued several times), this series of photographs has yet to be explored in its entirety. Over the past five years, Shore has scanned hundreds of negatives shot between 1973 and 1981. In this volume, Aperture has invited an international group of fifteen photographers, curators, authors, and cultural figures to select ten images apiece from this rarely seen cache of images. Each portfolio offers an idiosyncratic and revealing commentary on why this body of work continues to astound; how it has impacted the work of new generations of photography and the medium at large; and proposes new insight on Shore’s unique vision of America as transmuted in this totemic series.
Texts and image selections by Wes Anderson, Quentin Bajac, David Campany, Paul Graham, Guido Guidi, Takashi Homma, An-My Leê, Michael Lesy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Francine Prose, Ed Ruscha, Britt Salvesen, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, and Lynne Tillman
This catalog of the largest curated Fotofestival in Germany aims to be a photographic survey of the human condition as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. Among the participating artists are Olaf Otto Becker Edward Burtynsky, Jacob Holdt, Pieter Hugo, Taryn Simon, Fiona Tan, and Paolo Woods.
A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era. 50 years after Marshall McLuhan’s ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in “The Medium is the Massage,” Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the ‘extreme present’. THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read. Welcome to THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn’t just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it’s also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket. 30+ artists contributions: With contributions from Farah Al Qasimi, Ed Atkins, Alessandro Bavo, Gabriele Basilico, Josh Bitelli, James Bridle, Cao Fei, Alex Mackin Dolan, Thomas Dozol, Constant Dullaart, Cecile B Evans, Rami Farook, Hans-Peter Feldmann, GCC, K-Hole, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Eloise Hawser, Camille Henrot, Hu Fang, K-Hole, Koo Jeong-A, Katja Novitskova, Lara Ogel, Trevor Paglen, Yuri Patterson, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Taryn Simon, Hito Steyerl, Michael Stipe, Rosemarie Trockel, Amalia Ulman, David Weir, Trevor Yeung.
Taryn Simon lived in John F Kennedy International Airport from November 16 through November 20, 2009. JFK processes more international passengers than any other airport in the United States. Contraband includes photographs taken 24 hours a day of over 1000 items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the U.S. from abroad. Over five days, in both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the U.S. Postal Service International Mail Facility, Simon documented items including counterfeit American Express travelers checks, overproof Jamaican rum, heroin, a dead hawk, an illegal Mexican passport, deer penis, purses made from endangered species, Cuban cigars, counterfeit Disney DVDs, khat, gold dust, GHB concealed as house cleaner, cow manure tooth powder, counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags, prohibited sausage, undeclared jewelry, steroids and an ostrich egg.
This catalog presents an edited version, selected by the artist, from the more than 1000 items she recorded.
Our most infamous issue is a homage to the eerie, erotic beauty of the horror genre. At once gruesome and gorgeous, Big 28 puts an unexpected twist on otherwise impeccable fashion editorial. A must-have for collectors. Art Direction: Lee Swillingham & Stuart Spalding Fashion Director: Katie Grand Design: Martin Sebald Contributors: Jonas Akerlund, John Akehurst, Tim Burton & Lisa Marie, Liz Collins, Sean Ellis, Wim Hardeman, John Isaacs, Phil Pointer, Eileen Kastner-Delago, Malcolm Edwards, Katie England, James Jarvis, Serge Leblon, Matt & Marcus, Guido Mocafico, Arianne Phillips, Vincent Peters, Marc Quinn, Terry Richardson, Norbert Schoerner, Taryn Simon, John Spinks, Cornellie Tollens.
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. 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-photograph’s 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), Simon’s 70 color plates form a seductive collection that reflects and reveals a national identity. In addition to this monograph, there is also an exhibition of Simon’s work opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art in March 2007.
This first volume in the new Concept: Photography series–a loosely-knit collection of books, produced by Germany’s international DZ Bank in cooperation with leading European museums–kicks off an exploration of key themes in the contemporary photography discourse. Dialogues & Attitudes concentrates on subjects like Reflection in Media, Cinematography, and the Staging of the Self. With works by Matthew Barney, Christian Boltanski, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Robert Rauschenberg, Klaus Rinke, Cindy Sherman, Taryn Simon, William Wegman, and many others, as well as essays by Luminita Sabau, Wulf Herzogenrath, Hubert Beck, Veronika Baksa-Soos and Josef Tillmann, it presents a representative spectrum of the top current positions in photography and art. An appendix with biographies and bibliographies of the artists, as well as a complete checklist of the artworks, round out this first volume in an enlightening new series.
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