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Before presenting a ‘global project’ next year which is still under wraps, one of our favourite photographers, Taryn Simon, has just opened a show at Gagosian Los Angeles with a new series: Contraband. The young photographer spent 5 days and nights with customs at JFK airport archiving every item that was refused entry to the US in the space of 120 hours, taking 1075 photographs of over 1000 items detained or seized from passengers and from express mail entering the US from abroad.

In her typical minimalist yet sumptuous style, Taryn Simon expands – or rather zooms in – on the theme that she already explored in her brilliant An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar from 2007, notably the covert intersection between public and private, and the mechanisms underlying the functioning of a society.

The series will be published next month by Steidl. Meanwhile, you can always get an introduction to Taryn Simon in our mono.kultur #15 – unfortunately sold out for a long time, but as always, you can download a free PDF here, at the bottom of the page.

Photography: from Contraband, by Taryn Simon
Bird Corpse, labeled as home décor, Indonesia to Miami, Florida (prohibited)
Below: Steroids, Pakistan (illegal)