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Taryn Simon: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar Hardcover – July 31, 2013
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critically lauded work 'An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar'. Though I'm not a fan of photography-as-art or the hundreds of high-priced monographs featuring (inevitably) volcanoes, celebrities, dogs, cats, tropical fishes, semi-nude semi-celebrities in black & white, etc., when I first read about Simon and her book it piqued my interest. Inside C.I.A. headquarters, to a nuclear-waste holding facility where the water-submerged barrels give off an ominous blue argon glow, and then off to the seedy meeting hall of the KKK... Simon has a very good eye, but an even better mind. The range of subjects in itself is impressive, moreso because she managed to talk her camera in, and OUT, of these occasionally dangerous places. It is excellently produced, with a charcoal grey clothblound cover and tastefully restrained gilt-embossed titles. As with all Hatje Cantz titles, the paper stock is of the highest quality. It's larger than the average monograph, about 10.25in W x 13.5in H, with 160pp. If you are a devotee of photography or just someone fascinated by the secrets that the world's only superpower still tries to keep, get this book, and soon. I wouldn't count on a 3rd printing.