Paperwork and the will of capital – Taryn Simon

These flowers sat between powerful men as they signed agreements designed to influence the fate of the world.
(Taryn Simon)


This series by the american artist Taryn Simon has been presented in various occasions and different shapes: as photographic project, as a series of sculpture and as an artist book, edit by Hatje Cantz. The focus of the reflection is the inner critic to the bombastic wave of globalization, extended to all the production fields, that permits the realization of ‘impossible bouquet’, combining flowers coming from different parts of the world or blooming at different times of the year. Among a demanding archive research, the artist found the presence of these bouquet in a series of pictures depicting political events, often dealing with important issue as treaties and decrees involving themes such as nuclear armament, oil deals and diamond trading. Thanks to the collaboration with a botanist, she imported more than 4.000 flower speciments, in order to compose her own ‘impossible bouquet’. Than, she photographed it on colorful backgrounds, shaping a multilayered botanic manual.


Taryn Simon, Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of Australia Relating to the Settlement of Refugees in Cambodia. Ministry of Interior, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 26, 2014, © Taryn Simon