Taryn Simon

Contraband


Brussels

  • , Bird corpse, labeled as home décor, Indonesia to Miami, Florida (prohibited) - ANIMAL CORPSES (PROHIBITED), 2010
    detailed view
  • Alcohol (Illegal/Undeclared), 2010
    7 archival inkjet prints in 1 Plexiglass box
  • Anabolic steroids (Illegal), 2010
    23 archival inkjet prints in 4 Plexiglass box
  • Anabolic steroids (Illegal), 2010
    detailed view
  • Bongs (Illegal), 2010
    5 archival inkjet prints in 1 Plexiglass box
  • Bongs (Illegal), 2010
    detailed view
  • Fruit, Misc. (Prohibited), 2010
    29 archival inkjet prints in 5 Plexiglass boxes
  • Gold Dust (Undeclared), 2010
    1 archival inkjet print in 1 Plexiglass box
  • Immigration Applications (Accidentally Seized), 2010
    2 archival inkjet prints in 1 Plexiglass boxes
  • Khat (Illegal), 2010
    40 archival inkjet prints in 7 Plexiglass boxes
  • Khat (Prohibited), 2010
    detailed view
  • Nesting Dolls (Counterfeit), 2010
    5 archival inkjet prints in 1 Plexiglass box
  • Nesting Dolls (Counterfeit), 2010
    detailed view
  • Pharmaceuticals, Misc. (Counterfeit/ Illegal / Prohibited), 2010
    37 archival inkjet prints in 7 Plexiglass boxes
  • Shirts, Lacoste (Counterfeit), Shirts, Ralph Lauren (Counterfeit), Shirts, Misc. (Counterfeit), 2010
    12 archival inkjet prints in 3 Plexiglass boxes

Press release

Taryn Simon’s photographs chronicle contradictory aspects of the American identity while exposing the veiled mechanisms of society. This latest work, CONTRABAND, expands on her earlier series, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007), that explored the covert intersection between private and public.

For five days in November 2009, Simon remained on site at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which processes more international passengers than any other airport in the United States. The exhaustive pace at which she photographed paralleled the twenty-four hour rhythm by which goods move across borders and time zones. CONTRABAND includes 1075 photographs of items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the U.S. from abroad…