Cat's Eye Identity

Satisfactory Essays
Caroline Space
AH 4110 – The Photograph in Contemporary Art
A. Grundberg
5 December 2013


Taryn Simon was born in New York in 1975. Simon's photography consists of a triad of equal elements: photography, design, and text. Her works examine the impracticality of complete knowledge and unlocks the gap between image and text, where confusion arises, and ambiguity is strong. She archives subjects that do not “officially exist, did not happen, and cannot be seen. Others who possess this urge generally write fiction.” (Simon).
Simon strives to photograph the impossible and the secrets we do not even know exist. She is predominately a conceptual photographer whose photojournalistic work is process oriented and layered. She often combines her large format pictures with panels of text, confusing the linear formation of a visual sense and demanding a more in-depth dissection of what is in the image. Michel Foucault has given us the death of authorship in a society that generates more artists than ever before (Foucault). The attempt to expose language becomes an unreliable exercise in accurate representation through the act of writing. The images and text are not complete individually; paradoxically utilizing language systems deconstructs meaning. Nevertheless, this is the condition in which Simon makes a lot of her work—this shifts reality.
The most common critical writings on Simon’s work defines her within one or another mode of realism—the hyperreal or aestheticized realism (Ulrich). Hyperreality is as a notion in what is considered real and fiction are effortlessly mixed together so that there is no clear division between where one ends, and the other begins. The layers within image frequently are a depiction of visualization dictated to the exposure of secret places and disclosure of unrequited objects.
Jean Baudrillard defines hyperreality as "the
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