The Faces Of Factory Farming: Daniel Szalai Photographs Novogen White Light Chickens
Delving deep into human-animal relationships and exploitation, Budapest-based artist Daniel Szalai’s latest project ‘Novogen’ takes us inside the industrial farming of chickens of the same name.
Novogen White Light chicken are a special variety of “commercial layer” whose eggs are used by pharmaceutical companies to develop medicines and vaccines. In his eponymous series, animal lives become an industrial affair. Szalai’s documentation intends to“articulate questions and dilemmas regarding technology and man’s relation to nature”.
Perhaps the most compelling images from the three-part series is that of the chickens themselves. Szalai took 168 portraits of individual Novogen chickens—each with a personality uniquely their own. Shot against a blue background, the portrait color scheme is echoed by the supplementary photographs that detail the production environment and the process of vaccine production. These photographic elements are shown alongside a series of extracts from the management guide of the Novogen White Light, and the marketing material from the company that breeds them.