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Taryn Simon

A Burn Scar Visible from Space

August 19–September 21, 2019
Davies Street, London

Taryn Simon, Black Square XXIII. Phoenix canariensis, a date palm native to the Canary Islands, is an invasive species in the state of California. The Los Angeles County Fire Department lists Phoenix canariensis as a fire hazard that should be removed from the vicinity of structures. The scale and severity of California’s fires have escalated markedly since the 1980s due to overgrowth resulting from aggressive fire suppression tactics, climate change, and increased residential construction in forested areas. The Woolsey Fire, which began on November 8, 2018, burned 96,949 acres of land in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, leaving a burn scar that is visible from space., 2019, from the series Black Square, 2006– Archival inkjet print, framed: 31 ¾ × 31 ¾ inches (80.6 × 80.6 cm), edition of 5 + 2 AP© Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon, Black Square XXIII. Phoenix canariensis, a date palm native to the Canary Islands, is an invasive species in the state of California. The Los Angeles County Fire Department lists Phoenix canariensis as a fire hazard that should be removed from the vicinity of structures. The scale and severity of California’s fires have escalated markedly since the 1980s due to overgrowth resulting from aggressive fire suppression tactics, climate change, and increased residential construction in forested areas. The Woolsey Fire, which began on November 8, 2018, burned 96,949 acres of land in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, leaving a burn scar that is visible from space., 2019, from the series Black Square, 2006–

Archival inkjet print, framed: 31 ¾ × 31 ¾ inches (80.6 × 80.6 cm), edition of 5 + 2 AP
© Taryn Simon

About

Gagosian is pleased to present A Burn Scar Visible from Space, photographs from Taryn Simon’s ongoing series Black Square, begun in 2006.

Pink and yellow slips of paper announce the results of the ballot count in Haringey, London, for the European Union membership referendum; a billion-dollar Zimbabwean banknote marks the rapid decline of the nation’s currency; an empty 80-foot pedestal in New Orleans recalls the sanctioned removal of a statue of Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee by a crew wearing bulletproof vests; a charred palm tree, brought to California from the Canary Islands to populate large residential estates, has both fueled and survived a devastating wildfire; a Picturephone from 1964, deemed unnecessary at the time of its release, is an obsolete prototype for present-day video communication; and the dark power of 3-D printing is made clear with a gun named The Liberator, the plans for which can be downloaded by anyone with a Wi-Fi connection.

In the Black Square photographs, Simon presents objects, documents, and individuals in a black field given the same dimensions as Kasimir Malevich’s 1915 painting of the same name. Selected without any intentional categorization, Simon’s subjects form a randomized index of human invention and activity. They are fragments of recent history—detached from context and freighted with anxiety.

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