Contraband by Taryn Simon
This publication reissues a much sought-after photobook. Taryn Simon is an American artist whose works combine photography, text and graphic design. Her practice involves extensive research, in projects guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification. For Contraband, 1,075 photographs were 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 November 20, 2009, Simon remained on site and continuously photographed items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the United States from abroad. The list of items includes pork, syringes, Botox, GBL date rape drug, heroin, imitation Lipitor, Ketamine tranquillizers, Lidocaine, Lorazepam, locust tree seed, ginger root, deer tongues, cow urine, Cohiba cigars and Egyptian cigarettes. The volume is published in three differently colored covers.