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The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project
Koen Vanmechelen

The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) by the Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen explores the boundless potential hidden in biological and cultural diversity. What started by crossbreeding a typical Belgian chicken; the Mechelse Koekoek and a Poulet de Bresse from France; has, over the past 25 years, evolved into a universal breeding project that challenges monoculture both metaphorically and in practice. Vanmechelen’s goal is a cosmopolitan chicken that carries the genes of all chicken breeds from all over the world. Each crossing might boost the health and resilience of chicken, a species among many others that has been inbred and exploited for human needs. Could the project tell something about diversity and society among humans as well? In each country, the project provokes discussions and ethical debates about animal welfare, globalisation, genetic manipulation, and more.


In Bergen, the project takes a new chapter with the generation #29. The new hybrid emerging at Kunsthall 3,14 is a crossing between Norwegian jærhøns, the only still existing domesticated chicken breed in Norway, and the previous generation with the genetic material of 28 other breeds from all over the world. In the exhibition space at Kunsthall 3,14, the visitor encounters three jærhøns chickens, a 28th generation rooster, and eggs in an incubator. When the eggs hatch on the course of the exhibition, a new generation of the Cosmopolitan Chicken will come into being: Mechelse Jær.  

More info will follow soon!

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