de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

The Innocents: Headshots- Photographs by Taryn Simon

May 2 - July 1, 2006

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Featuring 45 dramatic photographs by award-winning photographer Taryn Simon, The Innocents provides a unique glimpse of the wrongly condemned. In these dramatic portraits, Simon uses her camera to document the victims of mistaken identity and corrupted justice. The resulting images provide profound examples of the humanity and diversity of the victims of wrongful convictions.

The Innocents has been produced in collaboration with the Innocence Project, an organization created by leading defense attorneys Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck. Using the latest technology available through DNA testing, Innocence Project attorneys have proven in 100 landmark cases to date how often grave miscarriages of justice take place. The compelling photographs in the exhibition reveal the personal tragedy and pain that remains long after the subjects have been freed. The Northern California Innocence Project, based at Santa Clara University, has worked in conjunction with the de Saisset Museum on the presentation of The Innocents.

Taryn Simon was born in 1975 in New York and graduated from Brown University. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, and have been featured in numerous publications including, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. In 2001, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography. She is represented by Gagosian Gallery.

The Innocents was curated and organized by Umbrage Editions, New York. This work was made possible with support from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography, The Innocence Project, Color Edge, and Adorama.

The Innocents exhibition is accompanied by a full-color, hard-cover book that features the portraits of the exonerees featured in the exhibition along with narratives that describe each individuals’ story.

The de Saisset Museum presentation of The Innocents and its educational programs are supported by a generous grant from The Bannan Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University.

Images: From left to right: Ron Williamson, Larry Mayes, Eric Sarsfield, Paula Gray, A.B. Butler. All works by Taryn Simon, ©2002, electronic  pigment print, 24 x 20 in., Courtesy of the artist