Taryn Simon’s Search For Meaning

“Are all of these stories and lives just piling up, or is something unfolding?” photographer Taryn Simon asks in the above video on her series, “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I – XVIII.” Part artist, part anthropologist, Simon’s latest series explores 18 different bloodlines around the world—”archetypes representing something that came before, is happening now, and will happen again,” Simon explains. Such a thorough investigation is not unusual for Simon; her past series include “Contraband” (2010), a fine-comb peep into US customs at JFK, and “The Innocents” (2003), portraits of wrongly convicted prisoners. Simons turns photography into the perfect median to investigate the constant accumulation; “photography is used in this machine-like form implying this idea of relentless production,” says Simons.


Simon’s Art.sy film is the second film, and the first collaborative film, in a series in which Art.sy asks contemporary artists to discuss their work. The first film in the series centered on artist and curator Cai Guo-Qiang. For more information, visit the Art.sy website.