Taryn Simon is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice can loosely be described as a sustained investigation into systems of classification. Tracing lines of connection between distinct, yet intertwined, taxonomic categories, Simon examines the way networked relationships are mediated and mobilised by the photographic medium.
'Cutaways' is a video work produced from footage taken during a television interview with Simon for Russia Prime Time in Moscow. Following the interivew, Simon was asked to sit in silence and stare at the newscasters for several minutes. The tense awkwardness of this silent exchange is teased out across the duration of the piece, with Simon becoming visibly more uncomfortable as the minutes drag on. As an extended compilation of filler, in-between moments that would later be spliced into the interview proper, this work obliquely speaks to the interstice between successive ‘decisive moments’ and the dormant scenes that precede and follow events that deserve to be recorded. Here, Simon draws attention to that which falls into (and is obscured by) the black bars between each frame in a strip of film or celluloid, offering something of an antidote to a conventional conception of the photographic or filmic document. This is a recording of inaction rendered visible through strained inertia and performed passivity.
single channel digital video, colour, sound, Letraset on wall
edition 1/3 + 2APs
duration: 00:03:04 min, 101.6 cm diam. overall
Signature & date
Signed l.l. Certificate of authenticity, blue ink "Taryn Simon". Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program and the Mollie and Jim Gowing Bequest 2017
Not on display
© Taryn Simon
Shown in 1 exhibition
Hold still: the photographic performance, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 May 2018–29 Jul 2018