Taryn Simon: Picture Collection
written by Tim Griffin
Editions Didier Millet Pty Ltd | ISBN 9782851171030
Paperback – 404 pages
Member’s price: $153.00
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The Mid-Manhattan Library houses 1.29 million prints, postcards, posters and images. Organized by a complex cataloguing system of over 12,000 subject headings, it is the largest circulating picture library in the world. Since its inception in 1915, it has been an important resource for writers, historians, artists, filmmakers and designers, serving as a space where historically validated images exist beside those that are not. Generic advertising pictures are positioned next to photographs by Weegee or Steichen; a Rauschenberg or Malevich reproduction sits next to a travel postcard or an anonymous artist’s work. In The Picture Collection, Taryn Simon highlights the impulse to archive and organize visual information, and points to the invisible hands behind seemingly neutral systems of image gathering. Simon sees this extensive archive of images as a precursor to Internet search engines. Such an unlikely futurity in the past is at the core of the Picture Collection. The digital is foreshadowed in the analog, at the same time that history – its classifications, its contents – seems the stuff of projection. The book includes an essay by Tim Griffin, former editor of Artforum magazine and current Executive Director and Chief Curator at The Kitchen, New York.
Artist: Taryn Simon