Born in New York, where she lives and works, Taryn Simon received a BA in semiotics from Brown University in 1997. In 2001 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for what would become her first major photographic and textual work: The Innocents (2002), which was exhibited at MoMA PS 1. Documenting cases of wrongful conviction in the United States, The Innocents calls into question photography’s function as a credible eyewitness and arbiter of justice.
Simon’s work directs our attention to familiar systems of organisation – bloodlines, criminal investigations, flower arrangements – making visible the contours of power and authority hidden within. Incorporating mediums ranging from photography and sculpture to text, sound, and performance, each of her projects is shaped by years of rigorous research and planning, including obtaining access from institutions as varied as the US Department of Homeland Security and Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Simon has exhibited extensively throughout the world. Her work is included in notable public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., USA; Tate Collections, UK; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Museum für Monderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.