No. 7 Cosmopolitan Chicken Project: Red Jungle Fowl – Genus XY
For the first time in his carreer Koen Vanmechelen presents all steps of his COSMOPOLITAN CHICKEN PROJECT in an exhibition, billboards, talks, debates, movies, …
Some years ago the artist Koen Vanmechelen started breeding new varieties of chicken: crossing international chickens which are national symbols in their respective countries of origin. For example, he crossed the Mechelen Koekoek with the Poulet de Bresse to create the Mechelen Bresse, which he first presented at Z33 (then still called PCBK) in 1999.
Slowly but surely the COSMOPOLITAN CHICKEN PROJECT took shape, a worldwide chicken breeding project in which Koen Vanmechelen fuses the best qualities of various national breeds of chicken to create a super-hybrid, the Cosmopolitan Chicken.
One of the major phases of the project is the quest for the primal chicken: the Red Jungle Fowl. It is from this primordial hen that all breeds of chicken that now exist originate. It is for this reason that Koen Vanmechelen regularly travels to Asia, where he observes this primal chicken in its natural environment.No one knows where, how and when this project will reach its end. Not even the artist. A disease could sink the whole thing next week.
The artist draws his own artistic material from the genes of these breeds of chicken. He crosses different breeds. He presents the result in different ways: dead, living, diseased, stuffed or crossed with another material, on the wall, in a cage, in a photo or painting.