Contraband: Taryn Simon’s Photos of Items Seized at JFK

Taryn Simon presents Contraband, a collection of 1,075 photos taken over 5 days at JFK International Airport, depicting items confiscated from luggage and shipping parcels.

According to Taryn Simon, ”You have people arriving from different cultures with the normal parts of their everyday life, and then these suddenly take on a wild identity under U.S. Customs,”

Among the items seized by The Man:

  • Khat, dried
  • Lard
  • A dead falcon (?!)
  • 29 sets of Lost: Season 4 DVDs (that one’s kind of meta)
  • Deer penis (O_o)

The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires.

Contraband will be a touring exhibition, so maybe you’ll have a chance to at least see a photo of your dead falcon that got ganked by Johnny Law.

via Taryn Simon, Strange Cargo at Kennedy Airport

About Jordan

Jordan Matthew Yerman started writing during his third year of high school, where his teacher discouraged his use of the eff-word as "crude, unnecessary and uncouth". While attending UC San Diego for his degree in Political Science, Jordan picked up acting; he would later attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, living in the UK for four years before relocating to New York City. To get by, he has worked as a proofreader, model, technical consultant, HR trainer, sign-placer, sales director, crate stacker, bartender, photographer, real estate broker, and as an exhibit at the Bronx Museum. As an actor, Jordan has performed in the USA, England, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands, from stage to indie screen to voiceover, including London's West End. Jordan has been around the world 2 3/4 times. He currently lives in Vancouver and works in New Media; capital N, capital M. You can reach him via jordan at international jet trash dot com.