Cryopreservation Unit, Cryonics Institute, Clinton Township, Michigan

Taryn Simon (American, born 1975)
2004, printed 2007
Chromogenic print
Image: 95.3 x 114.3 cm (37 1/2 x 45 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Hideyuki Osawa, 2007
Accession Number:
2007.459a, b
Not on view
For her series of photographs and subsequent book, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Simon gained extraordinary access to a wide variety of restricted sites throughout the United States, from the mission control center of a nuclear submarine to a research laboratory at Harvard Medical School where vials of live HIV are stored. Each photograph is accompanied by a detailed caption written by the artist, providing background information about the site and what goes on behind its closed doors. This picture shows the space-age-looking unit in which the wife and mother of the inventor of cryostasis-the preservation of the bodies of recently deceased people at very low temperatures-lie suspended between death and a hoped-for second life.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Reality Check: Truth and Illusion in Contemporary Photography," November 4, 2008–March 22, 2009.