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Confiscated Airport Contraband, Photographed

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Plastic Pitcher of Salami (detail)
Plastic Pitcher of Salami (detail)
Photo: Taryn Simon/NYT

Taryn Simon spent five days taking 1,075 photographs of items confiscated from passengers flying into New York's JFK airport for a gallery show and an upcoming book Contraband. A lot of prohibited foodstuffs including sugar cane, lard, "unknown meat in a bottle," and the above "plastic pitcher of salami."

The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires.

· Strange Cargo at Kennedy Airport [NYT]
· An Illicit Whole Earth Catalog at J.F.K. [NYT]