• Taryn Simon, The Central Intelligence Agency, Art, CIA Original Headquarters Building, Langley, Virginia, 2003/2007, color photograph. From series “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” 2007.

    “Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts”

    Helsinki City Art Museum
    Kluuvi Gallery Unioninkatu 28 B
    April 9–May 6, 2012

    Milwaukee Art Museum
    700 N. Art Museum Drive
    September 22, 2011–January 1, 2012

    Moscow House of Photography / Multimedia Art Museum
    Ostozhenka 16
    January 20–February 19, 2012

    Curated by Lisa Hostetler

    With the tenacious sleuthing sensibility of an investigative reporter and a keen eye for the resonantly offbeat, Taryn Simon has spent the past decade turning her lens toward the forbidden and the forgotten, producing documentary photographs paired with concise factual texts. This midcareer survey will focus on four of the artist’s most ambitious projects, including her 2007 series “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” which led viewers behind the scenes at normally inaccessible sites—nuclear-waste-storage facilities, cryonic units, CIA headquarters—and “Contraband,” 2010, for which she spent five days shooting items confiscated or detained at New York’s JFK International Airport. With its aggregation of the exotic (dried deer penis) and the mundane (a plastic pitcher jammed full of salami), the latter series encapsulates Simon’s operative fascination: the curious stories that reside in the material facts of things.