Lurking in the underbelly of the American consciousness – The Post

Lurking in the underbelly of the American consciousness

Art of the month (photo: Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery)
November 4th, 2016 3:30 pm| by Zach Tan
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Taryn Simon
ongoing, ends Jan 15, Tue-Fri 11:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-18:00; Louisiana, Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk; 115kr; louisiana.dk
Taryn Simon’s photo series, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar sheds light on realities hidden or ignored by most.

Looking into the inner workings of American society, the photographs on exhibition draw us into the underbelly of American consciousness, showing the banal, hidden and surprising sides behind a series of places that are inaccessible to the general public.



From the abstract expressionist art hanging in the CIA’s hallways, to a death row outdoor recreational facility, Simon’s pulls back the veil surrounding US culture: presenting the unseen foundations of American everydayness.

Going where few have been, Simon takes us into places like the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the US Department of Treasury in which she displays a scene where millions of dollars are oddly housed by infrastructure that lags far behind in value.

The layout of the exhibition is impressive. The photos, although depicting different subjects, come together seamlessly in the wide, open space in which they are housed.

The descriptions beside each photo are deliberately small, forcing us to participate in a disjointed process of information gathering and observation – much like the divide between public information of these places and their realities.

Fundamentally, the vision of the exhibition is one that investigates the nature of transparency and asymmetrical information. And Simon does a brilliant job at that.


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