Taryn Simon's Art Traces Family Bloodlines Around the World

In a video collaboration with Art.sy Films, Taryn Simon describes her latest work, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters. The video, produced by Marina Chashdan, is not your standard artist profile. It immerses the viewer in Simon's photography, portraits and evidence-like documentation arranged to "imply patterns and codes and systems."  Her methods approach an "anthropological investigation in their depth," Art.sy writes, spanning populations from "test rabbits in Australia to the living dead in India." Art.sy, a startup in private beta, plans to be the Pandora of the art world, using data from the Art Genome Project to connect viewers with work they'll like. 

A statement on the artist's site describes the work that went into the global project:

A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters was produced over a four-year period (2008-11), during which Simon travelled around the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories. In each of the eighteen 'chapters' that make up the work, the external forces of territory, power, circumstance or religion collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. The subjects documented by Simon include feuding families in Brazil, victims of genocide in Bosnia, the body double of Saddam Hussein's son Uday, and the living dead in India. Her collection is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate.

For more videos from Art.sy, visit http://art.sy/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

'How Do You Function Without a Cellphone?'

A short documentary about a San Francisco designer who doesn't own a cellphone, and a teenager who can't imagine life without hers.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Video

Just In