Truck Driver

Daniel Lee


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archival inkjet print
89 x 127 cm
In Harvest Project (2004) the focus of Lee’s gaze sharpens, and he raises uncomfortable questions about the use of laboratory animals. Individually titled works in this series, including Napping, Celebration, Dancer/s, Watching TV, Poster, Message, Playing Cello, Shepherd I and II and Donor, reflect on actual science with the hyper-reality of digital photo-manipulation. Pigs, monkeys, sheep and goats, some with human features and attributes, face their fates as organ donors. Twins shows human babies with piglet-like faces in a double stroller, the result, perhaps, of such experimental biotechnology; and Faces depicts an upright male pig, arms folded, snout in the air, standing beside a pig on four legs wearing a human mask. Behind them, rows of grinning carnival masks hang from a fence. In Truck Driver, one of the most disturbing images in the series, an upright humanoid pig stands calmly in front of padlocked steel containers, the snouts of other pigs looking plaintively through portholes, passively awaiting transportation. Organ cargo. There are echoes here, of how human beings are prepared to treat other humans — transported on trucks and trains, trafficked across borders, and locked away out of sight so that their plight cannot cause the rest of us even momentary discomfort. Daniel Lee presents us with inconvenient truths, and his images are so powerful that we cannot look away.
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