Taryn Simon's "Contraband"
Taryn Simon has a thing for the forbidden. The 35-year-old photographer’s 2007 work, “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” examined some of the least accessible areas of the American landscape (a government marijuana-grow facility, the CIA’s headquarters); “The Innocents,” a portrait series from 2003, focused on wrongfully convicted inmates. For her latest exhibition, “Contraband” (September 30 to December 31 at Lever House in New York), she camped out for five days straight at New York’s JFK airport, where, with a forensic coldness, she snapped more than a thousand items seized from passengers and mail entering the U.S.—everything from heroin to urine to horse sausage from Eastern Europe (pictured). Simon has always been interested in exposing America’s dark secrets; it looks like she’s now intent on patrolling its borders too.
Horse sausage, eastern European Origin (Natural Casings) (9CFR.94)(Prohibited) copyright 2010 Taryn Simon.