This exhibition showcases all the strange items confiscated at airports

Words by Nicole La Ruffa

What lies behind the doors at customs.

If Border Security happens to be your fave Sunday night watch, this exhibition will be right up your alley.

American artist Taryn Simon is bringing her Contraband exhibition to Aus, giving us a glimpse of the items seized from passengers who have travelled to the US.

Contraband is made up of 1,075 photographs, all captured by Simon at the JFK International Airport in New York.

Some of the confiscated goods are pretty much what you’d expect, like counterfeit designer handbags and pirated movies. However, more peculiar items  namely deer blood, duck tongue, and a dead bird used for witchcraft rituals pop up in the mix as well.

Each item is also labelled according to its official classification, categorised into ‘abandoned’, ‘illegal’, ‘unlicensed’ and ‘counterfeit’.

The exhibition will make its Australian debut at the Anna Schwartz Gallery, and will run from April 2 to May 18.

Contraband exhibition
Anna Schwartz Gallery
185 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC

April 2 to May 18


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