19 June – 5 September 2010 – Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Inspired by rumours of weapons of mass destruction and secret sites in Iraq, Taryn Simon decided to address secret sites in her own country.

For An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2006), she photographed hidden places and things within America’s borders.

Ranging across science, government, entertainment, and religion, they include an underwater nuclear-waste storage facility, a Braille edition of Playboy, and a Scientology screening room.

Shot over four years, mostly with a large-format view camera, the images are sometimes ethereal, sometimes foreboding, sometimes cinematic. Taryn Simon uses things usually hidden from view to create a vivid portrayal of the contemporary USA.

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