Art & Design

A Famous Exhibition of Confiscated Contraband Is Coming To Australia

By Ioana Dragnef
8th Mar 2019

If you’ve ever wanted to take a sneak peek of what goes on behind the doors of Customs and Border Protection, now’s your chance.

Contraband comprises 1,075 photographs taken by Taryn Simon at both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the U.S. Postal Service International Mail Facility, both located at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

For one full working week, 24 hours per day, Simon remained on site, photographing items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the U.S. from abroad.

Simon’s inventory includes pirated movies; counterfeit cashier’s cheques; fat, sausages, deer blood and duck tongue (yum); counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags and Patek Philippe watches; counterfeit Xanax and erectile dysfunction medication; GBL (a component of date rape drug); and a dead bird intended for use in witchcraft rituals. (Yep, you read that right.)

First presented in 2010 in New York and subsequently exhibited in the United States, Europe, Central and East Asia, and the Middle East, this is the first time Contraband will be shown in Australia, so don’t miss it.

The Details

What: Taryn Simon’s Contraband
Where: Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane
When: Tuesday 2 April – Saturday 18 May 2019
For more info, click 

Instead of smuggling cheese across the border, check out this year's edition of MOULD: A Cheese Festival.

Image credit: supplied

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