Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters
A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I – XVIII was produced over a four-year period (2008-11), during which the artist, Taryn Simon, travelled around the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories. The subjects Simon documents include victims of genocide in Bosnia, test rabbits infected with a lethal disease in Australia, the first woman to hijack an aircraft, and the living dead in India. Her collection is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate.
Simon's presentation explores the struggle to determine codes and patterns embedded in the narratives she documents, making them recognizable as variations (versions, renderings, adaptations) of archetypal episodes from the present, past, and future. In contrast to the methodical ordering of a bloodline, the central elements of the stories – violence, resilience, corruption, and survival – disorient the highly structured appearance of the work. A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters highlights the space between text and image, absence and presence, and order and disorder.
A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters
Texts by Homi K. Bhabha and Geoffrey Batchen
Published by Gagosian Gallery, Wilson Center for Photography, and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
864 pages, with gatefolds and 1080 color plates; Hardcover
9.8 x 13.4 inches (25 x 34 cm)