"Supermarket Piece"
© 1973/74 M. K. Sims

right: Customers in supermarket reading
"Cancer" labels on food containers
Click to view Close-Up

Sims was in a supermarket at Laguardia Pl, NYC, applying dogfood labels to cans. (Click to get information about "Pet Food for the Elderly Poor") She started reading other labels in passing while thinking about food to photograph, etc., when she noticed that practically every item she picked up contained some carcinogenic substance -- ie. coloring, preservatives, weird chemistry that no layman could fathom, etc.

To honor this delightful discovery, she made her own labels that were photo-screened on the reverse side of vinyl (so they would not scratch / rub off and so that the regular labels would show through). She scotch taped her labels over cans and packages in the different stores & left them there. (With soft drinks, she sometimes left straws sticking out of the pop tops).

above: Sims applying labels in supermarket.

Click to view Close-Up

Click to view Close-Up

She would photograph reactions or just watch (occasionally somebody reacted). She did this piece in several U.S. & some foreign cities. This piece is still ongoing. 

below: Sims and customers examining her labels.

She created two different series of these labels:

Click to View Rat Cancer Series  |  Click to View Can of Cancer Series

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