February 24, 2015 - Jeu de Paume - Taryn Simon
February 24, 2015

Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon,Cutaways, 2012. Single-channel video, 3 minutes, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. © 2014 Taryn Simon.

Taryn Simon
Rear Views, A Star-forming Nebula, and the Office of Foreign Propaganda

February 24–May 17, 2015 

Jeu de Paume
1, place de la Concorde
75008 Paris

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The work of Taryn Simon (born 1975) results from rigorous research and investigation into the power and structure of secrecy and the precarious nature of survival. Combining photography, text, and graphic design, her conceptual projects address the production and circulation of knowledge and the politics of representation. On view are excerpts from major projects, including The Innocents (2002), An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007), Contraband (2010), A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I – XVIII (2011), Cutaways (2012), and The Picture Collection (2013).

Taryn Simon’s images and texts reveal the invisible space between language and the visual world—a space in which multiple truths and fantasies are constructed, and where translation and disorientation continually occur. By drawing attention to the complex relationship between text and image, she highlights habits of inference and judgment, while also revealing the fictional dimensions of facts. As the operation of civil institutions and the circulation of information become increasingly image-dependent, assumptions about access, knowledge, understanding, and truth are frequently made. In acknowledging this, Simon’s art points to the fallacy of comprehension that photographs invite.

Taryn Simon often invokes the form of the archive to impose an illusion of structural order on the chaotic and indeterminate nature of her subjects. Her collections of images and data lead us to the abstract questions that keep us awake at night: What are we doing here? Does life have purpose? Who’s in control? At the same time, she acknowledges that archives exist because that elusive something, which can’t necessarily be articulated in words, is enunciated in the gaps that exist between all  the information collected.

There is an unlikely futurity in the narratives that Simon explores. In her work, history—its classifications, its contents—seems the stuff of projection.

Curator: Ami Barak

Check out our website to know more about Rear Views, A Star-forming Nebula, and the Office of Foreign Propaganda

Also at Jeu de Paume until May 17: Florence Henri and Vandy Rattana.

The Jeu de Paume is subsidised by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. It is supported by Neuflize Vie and la manufacture Jaeger-Lecoultre, privileged partners. 

Jeu de Paume
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