The New York-based artist Taryn Simon has long explored the relationship between individuals and the state. “I’m most interested in looking at the paperwork of power,” she once said. “Where are the boundaries in terms of what the public or myself can access or do within those limitations?” At first glance her work may seem innocently everyday, but the messages within her photographs and displays are highly sociological and political. For this series, Simon has considered a new question: What are the underlying norms and turning wheels that keep the U.S. functioning? In answer, here is a series of photographs in which each one captures a facet of the country’s infrastructure. —E.C.
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