Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Taryn Simon at Jeu de Paume

© Romain Darnaud, Jeu de Paume

Taryn Simon provides a small service, cataloging objects that would disappear otherwise, infographics of a border's filter. A sample of the water rejected. This small function separating her from Trevor Paglen whose similar I-spy photograph's depiction relish their obfuscation. (Simon's photographs at least illustrate their subject even if they tell us nothing.) Both premised on a sort of Christopher Williams structuralism, they await the text to reveal the image. Paglen's photos ultimately rely on this distance for their affect. Simon's on their forensic premise, lending creedance to even the theatrical images over-extravagant camp. All of it Poetically separated from understanding, the poetic-conceptual On Kawara effect.

Lastly, The schmaltzy, ham-fisted, and absurd trope of "conceptual" photographers presenting large blank and spectacular images of space photography can die anytime now. Everyone at this point understands it's not about cosmic blankness and existential pondering, and everything to do with printing money. Lutz Bacher already did it better.

See too : On Kawara at the Guggenheim, Trevor Paglen at Metro PicturesThomas Ruff at S.M.A.K.Florian Maier-Aichen at 303 GalleryThomas Demand at Avlskarl