Gagosian Rome is hosting until June 24 Taryn Simon’s first solo exhibition in Italy. Her most recent body of work Paperwork and the Will of Capital comprises 12 unique sculptures and 36 editioned photographs. For this new work, Simon’s investigations yielded twin points of departure: archival photographs of official signings; and George Sinclair’s 19th century horticultural study containing actual dried grass specimens. In Paperwork and the Will of Capital, Simon examines accords, treaties and decrees drafted to influence systems of governance and economics, from nuclear armament and border issues to oil deals and diamond trading. All involve the countries present at the 1944 United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, which addressed the globalization of economics after World War II, leading to the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. In archival images of the signings of these documents, powerful men flank floral centerpieces designed to underscore the importance of the parties present. Simon’s photographs of the recreated centerpieces from these signings, together with their stories, underscore how the stagecraft of political and economic power is created, performed, marketed and maintained. For the recreations, Simon worked with a botanist and from archival records to identify all the flowers. She imported more than 4000 specimens from the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, where 20 million flowers arrive and depart daily, bound for international retail destinations.
Paperwork and the Will of Capital by Taryn Simon
Through June 24