Texts by Homi K. Bhabha and Geoffrey Batchen
A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters is divided into eighteen chapters. Each chapter is comprised of three segments: an annotation, a large portrait series depicting bloodline members and a second series containing photographic evidence. 817 portraits are systematically arranged within their chapters. Simon includes empty portraits, representing living members of a bloodline who could not be photographed. The reasons for these absences are provided in the captions and include imprisonment, military service, dengue fever and women not granted permission to be photographed. Simon's presentation explores the struggle to determine codes and patterns embedded in the narratives she documents. These narratives are recognisable as variantsnm (versions, renderings, adaptations) of historical or future episodes. In contrast to the systematic ordering of a bloodline, the seductive elements of these stories - violence, resilience, corruption and survival - disorient the work's highly structured appearance.
Berlin 2011, 25cm x 34cm, illustrated, 864pp. Hardback