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The Pavilion Downtown Dubai is proud to present a solo exhib ition by American artist Taryn Simon featuring a selection of her two bodie s of work\, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007) and Contraband (2010). Examining the hidden elements that contribu te to modern American culture\, Simon investigates and questions sites\, sp aces and perceived hazardous commodities that have contributed to shaping n ational identity\, fear and the economy in the United States.

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A n American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar was first exhibited in 2 007 at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. This body of work delves deep into modern American culture through a photographic investigation\, which exposes hidden truths about present-day America. Over a period of four year s\, Simon scouted remote and restricted objects\, sites and spaces across t he USA that are integral to America’s foundation\, mythology\, or day to da y functioning but remain inaccessible or unknown to the public. The artist compiled an inventory of these unseen subjects that looks beyond the surfac e of American culture and confronts the divide between those with and witho ut the privilege of access. The images range from radioactive capsules at a nuclear waste storage facility\, a black bear in hibernation to the art co llection of the CIA\, all of which are presented alongside text\, which hig hlights the artist’s dual role as voyeur and informant.

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Simon’s cur iosity about the layers that create a national identity is extended to the more recent photographic series\, Contraband\, first exhibited in 2010. Simon dedicated five days in November 2009 to fully immerse herself i nto the unique space of John F. Kennedy International Airport in order to h eavily document the border between America and the rest of the world. The o utcome was a vast collection of 1075 images of over 1000 items detained or seized from passengers and mail entering the United States. Simon used a la bor-intensive\, forensic photographic procedure to document a broad array o f forbidden items\, which include among others the active ingredient found in Botox\, counterfeit clothes and designer accessories\, pharmaceuticals\, jewelry\, Cuban cigars\, animal parts\, pirated DVDs and gold dust. Each i tem was photographed against a neutral grey background\, producing an objec tive scientific record\, devoid of context and transformed into an artifact of the larger global network. Simon witnessed patterns of international co mmerce\, exposing both the demands that drive the international economy as well as the local economies that produce them.

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ABOUT TARYN SIMON

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Taryn Simon was born in New York in 1975. Simon’s ar tistic medium consists of three equal elements: photography\, text\, and gr aphic design. Her works investigate the impossibility of absolute understan ding and opens up the space between text and image\, where disorientation o ccurs and ambiguity reigns. She is a graduate of Brown University and a Gug genheim Fellow. Simon’s photographs and writings have been the subject of m onographic exhibitions at institutions including Museum of Modern Art\, New York (2012)\, Tate Modern\, London (2011)\; Neue Nationalgalerie\, Berlin (2011)\; Whitney Museum of American Art\, New York (2007)\; Museum für Mode rne Kunst\, Frankfurt (2008)\; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art\, Berlin (2004)\; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center\, New York (2003). Perma nent collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art\, Tate Modern\, Whi tney Museum\, Centre Pompidou\, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2011 her work was included in the 54th Venice Biennale.

DTEND:20130506 DTSTAMP:20141218T225342 DTSTART:20130206 GEO:25.1896165;55.2731956 LOCATION:The Pavilion Downtown Dubai\,Emaar Boulevard \nDubai\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar / Contraband \, Tary n Simon UID:257322 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130206T000000 DTSTAMP:20141218T225342 DTSTART:20130206T100000 GEO:25.1896165;55.2731956 LOCATION:The Pavilion Downtown Dubai\,Emaar Boulevard \nDubai\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar / Contraband \, Tary n Simon UID:257323 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR