Friday, November 12, 2010


when our friends ceci and andrew came to visit us in paris, they decided to bring food and chocolate home as gifts for friends and family. i remember her telling me that at customs they confiscated a beautiful jar of caramel sauce from the bon marche grande epicerie. is caramel really a liquid? she should have opened the jar and started eating it right then and there. to me, caramel sauce seemed to fall in a grey area, others are a little more obvious.

photographer and native new yorker, taryn simon, captured 1,075 images of smuggled goods in just 5 days, from november 16, 2009 to november 20, 2009, at both the u.s. customs and boarder protection federal inspection site and the u.s. postal service international mail facility at john f. kennedy international airport. some of the items detained from passengers or express mail are shown above in her series “contraband”: (1) south african cycad with soil; (2) bird corpse from indonesia labeled as home d├ęcor; (3) plastic pitcher of salami, eastern europe; (4) insect larvae and pupae, india; (5) counterfeit disney nesting dolls; (6) peppers and capsicum, ghana; (7) unidentified liquid hidden in a thermos in satin bedding; (8) gbl, used as a date-rape drug, poland.