Photographer Taryn Simon spent five days and nights sleeping in JFK Airport to photograph all the weird shit that people try to get through customs.
Stuff like: Fake Viagra, real Viagra, Louis Vuitton purses, Louis Vittles purses, boar hooves, chicken feet, dead birds, live birds, Prada bags, Prad-O bags, gemstones, fruit, cow dung toothpaste, deer penis, dead guinea pigs, steroids, cigars, Cornballers (go ahead! touch it!), and GHB.1
Wow. Someone was throwing one hell of a party:
There were containers filled with Botox-making ingredients, fake Louis Vuitton handbags and dead guinea pigs. There were animal parts, cigars and steroids. Viagra from China and GBL, the date-rape drug, freshly arrived from Europe.
This is a glimpse into the underworld of illicit commodities trying to get through federal inspection sites at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States.
And it was at JFK that Taryn Simon, an internationally renowned photographer, spent five days and nights in 2009 sleeping on an air mattress, documenting this ordinary deluge of bizarre goods into a major port of cargo and passenger entry into the U.S., an Ellis Island of sorts for illegal commodities.
“Myself and my team got very little sleep under the blinding fluorescent lights. It was torturous. I could barely stand on the last day,” said Simon.
First of all, “Myself and my team got very little sleep?” Yourself needs to learn yourself some grammar. Continue reading