With her American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Taryn Simon goes on the hunt for America’s dirty secrets.
Gaining entrance to places as diverse as a white tiger breeding facility, the JFK Airport quarantine area and virus-research labs, Simon shows the things that are integral to America’s foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience.
Meanwhile, in her earlier book The Innocents, she shot portraits of more than 80 wrongly accused death-row inmates who were exonerated by DNA testing, and investigated photography’s role in that process.
At issue here was the question of photography’s function as a credible eyewitness and arbiter of justice.
In these photographs Simon confronts photography’s ability to blur truth and fiction – an ambiguity that can have severe, even lethal consequences.
Watch the video above and you’ll see that Simon’s photographs stretch beyond mere documentation. Brimming with radiant light, unsettling atmosphere and sinister implications, they pulse with artistic mystery too.
Related post: Do photographs tell the truth?