American photographer Taryn Simon received some press last year with her project Contraband, a photographic catalog of items seized at JFK International Airport during 2009. Her work tends to examine the unseen, using the camera to hunt and capture cultural phantoms; items that never cross the border, curios and people lost in the justice system.
Her 2003 collection, The Innocents, shows more of a bent towards social justice than her more recent pieces. Simon shows portraits of men who were wrongly convicted of various crimes. Rather than documenting objects, she brings into question the use of the camera as an arbitrator of truth. Casting the veritable camera in the role of the accuser rather than the vindicator, The Innocents brings to light another result of the synergistic reaction between science and human fallibility.
words by J Watters