milwaukee

Taryn Simon, Charles Irvin Fain, scene of the crime, the Snake River, Melba, Idaho, served 18 years of a death sentence for murder, rape and kidnapping, 2002, color photograph, 48 x 62". From the series “The Innocents,” 2002.

Taryn Simon

Milwaukee Art Museum

Taryn Simon, Charles Irvin Fain, scene of the crime, the Snake River, Melba, Idaho, served 18 years of a death sentence for murder, rape and kidnapping, 2002, color photograph, 48 x 62". From the series “The Innocents,” 2002.

Taryn Simon’s exhibition at the architecturally distinguished Milwaukee Art Museum offered up a generous and inquisitive photographic archive that spanned ten years and three distinct projects: “The Innocents,” 2002, portraits of people wrongfully convicted of violent crimes; “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” 2007, images of sites and holdings generally inaccessible to the public; and “Contraband,” 2010, a series that documents, with clinical precision, items seized over a given week from airline passengers entering the United States. Depending on her subject matter, Simon employs different photographic techniques, ranging from formal studio conventions to documentary methods to a more prominent vernacular or de-skilled aesthetic. Combined with expository writings and elaborate descriptive titles that contextualize each image, Simon’s pictorial investigations are

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