Daniel Szalai | Novogen

The project Novogen (2017–2018) focuses on the eponymous breed of chickens, a special type of commercial layer, which was developed to use its eggs in the production of pharmaceutical products, like medications and vaccines. Through the investigation of the industrialized farming of the Novogen White chicken, the work poses questions about biotechnology and man’s relation to nature. At the same time, by taking the chicken as a metaphor, it reflects on the capitalist notion of workforce and our commodified existence.

At the core of the project stands an installation comprising 168 individual chicken portraits. This installation is supplemented by a series of photographs documenting the environment of the production facilities and the process of the vaccine production. Its last part is a selection of extracts from the management guide of the Novogen White and the marketing material of the company that produces them.

The exhibition of the project was realized with the support of the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center Budapest and the Embassy of Hungary.


Daniel Szalai

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