Taryn Simon: Contraband
This book documents Taryn Simon’s series Contraband, which comprises 1,075 photographs taken at both the US Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the US Postal Service International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. From November 16 to 20, 2009, Simon remained on-site and continuously photographed items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the United States from abroad, including the active ingredient found in Botox, counterfeit designer clothes and accessories, pharmaceuticals, jewelry, overproof Jamaican rum, drugs, items made from endangered species, Cuban cigars, animal parts, pirated DVDs, khat, gold dust, cow-manure tooth powder, and steroids.
In cataloguing such an enormous amount of material in a limited period of time, emerging patterns reveal a comprehensive cross-section of international commerce, exposing the desires and demands that drive both the international economy and local economies. The volume features a text by Hans Ulrich Obrist and is published with three different colored covers.