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Taryn Simon: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar Hardcover – 23 Apr 2007

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl; annotated edition edition (23 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3865213804
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865213808
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 2.3 x 34 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,074,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
the photos would stand on their own, but the narrative associated with each one of them makes the book stand apart. If you want to know more about the author and her work before buying the book I would recommend the video that can be found on ted.com.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic selection of some of the oddest and unique photos I've come across. Really beautifully considered, both from the photographic and design perspective and for the window into a dark underbelly of American culture that is revealed in the text. I would recommend this book highly. Enjoy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa069bc30) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06eb690) out of 5 stars Like having an art museum all to yourself 8 Oct. 2008
By Jan in NC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like the big white pages. To me, it feels like being in a gallery, without the background chatter and the one woman with too much perfume who talks too loud, you know who you are. All the white space lets you focus on just that photo, that moment. The detailed captions are a treat for the mind.

This isn't a book of snapshots. Each photo demands contemplation and admiration that she got consent to access this location. Except Disney, of course. Their letter of rejection and their reasoning at the end is droll, compared to what she was granted permission to capture. Several of these locations I knew of. Many I didn't. Some are upsetting, as they should be.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06f909c) out of 5 stars A little disappointed 14 Nov. 2009
By R. Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book following a visit to a superb exhibition containing many of the photos in the book. The concept, the photographs, and the accompanying text for each image, were absolutely enthralling in the exhibition. Photos in the exhibition were all quite large, and many were incredibly complex. We spent a long time examining each one. As you might expect, the photos in the book are not nearly as large (duh!), but also were not reproduced with the same clarity. Much of the detail is lost and some of the images seem very dark. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, as I had purchased two copies of the book as gifts for people who were unable to attend the exhibition; although I knew there would be a loss of quality in each reproduced image, I was not expecting the loss to be as great. It is a shame, because Taryn Simon's work is exceptional.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06f90cc) out of 5 stars fantastic 30 July 2007
By yn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's really amazing all the work and effort that was put into creating these images. I saw her show at The Whitney like the other reviewer, and i really enjoyed her work so i bought the book on amazon (I'm not trying to plug amazon, but it was a lot cheaper here than other places i looked) The photographs absolutely stand on their own, but the captions are extremely important to the images. The book is simple, as are the images, but it is definately unique and unfamiliar.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06f90d8) out of 5 stars beautifully presented 15 Feb. 2008
By Alex Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book creates its own space in a way only a few can do. Its images are (almost all) just right - including the right size. They aren't large but they invite intense observation and they look terrific.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06f9684) out of 5 stars Taryn Simon Is Artistically All Over The Map, But This Book Confirms Her Status As One Of Our Most Important Photographers 5 May 2007
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having seen the small exhibition at the Whitney Museum devoted to this body of work (It's currently on view there until early June.), I strongly believe that this book confirms what many people - myself included - have thought of fellow Brunonian Taryn Simon's work ever since she made her spectacular debut with "The Innocents" a few years ago. "An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar" demonstrates that she has become one of our most important documentary photographers, stretching her artistic terrain to encompass much more than the fine environmental portraiture that she demonstrated so well in "The Innocents". Stylistically, Simon is indeed all over the map, but she still has made memorable color images which pay homage to work from the likes of Lewis Baltz, Richard Mishrach, Walker Evans and Richard Avedon to name but a few (I might add too that like most of these photographers, Simon works primarily with a large format camera, using availiable light only to photograph her subjects.). If there is a serious artistic criticism to be made of her latest body of work, then it's probably one related to her sequencing of images (It's a point that I've remembered vividly well from an intermediate photography course I had taken years before, which was taught by distinguished photographer Harold Jones, the founding director of both New York City's Light Gallery and the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography.) - though this may be more the fault of her editors than of Ms. Simon herself. If you're unfamiliar with Simon's memorable imagery, then "An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar" is a superb place to begin your artistic journey.
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