The world’s primary research center for the study of corpse decomposition in Knoxville, Tennessee, is nicknamed “the body farm” and hosts up to 75 cadavers in various stages of decay. The skeletal analysis of human remains helps solve murder cases.

Simon said she was granted full access to shoot as she pleased, which, given the setting, was a bit disconcerting: “They gave me gloves, let me roam around and do whatever I wanted to do. I had a strange reaction to being there with bodies lying all around,” Simon said. “I was thinking a lot about how we handle and interpret and respect our dead.”

Photo: Taryn Simon, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery (via)