Just before the millennium year 2000, Koen Vanmechelen launched his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP), a unique artistic project. Central to his work are the chicken (gallus gallus) and the interbreeding of national chicken species into ‘Cosmopolitan chickens’. He uses this animal as a metaphor for observations around ‘la condition humaine’. In April 2013 the artist’s ongoing creation of a world-hybrid chicken reached, with the Mechelse Styrian, its seventeenth generation; a crossbreed between the Slovenian Styrian and Mechelse Senegal. One year before, this Mechelse Senegal came into existence after a crossing between the African Poulet de Senegal and the Mechelse Fayoumi (also known as the ‘biennial’ chicken). To date, the hybrid consists of regional breeds of chickens in Belgium, France, England, U.S.A., Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand, Brasil, Turkey, Cuba, Italy, Russia, China, Egypt, Senegal and Slovenia. Vanmechelen uses a plethora of artistic tools for his work - from painting and video to installations, innovative 3D-techniques, sculptures and glass -, which includes three projects. These are: the ‘Cosmopolitan Chicken Research Project’ (CC®P), the wooden statue ‘Cosmogolem’ and the fertility project ‘Walking Egg’. In 2011 the supporting foundations were grouped into the ‘Open University of Diversity’.
Vanmechelen has presented his work on almost all continents, from the U.S. to China and Iceland to Senegal. In Belgium his work was exhibited in many museums and other loci: the Verbeke Foundation, Watou, Museum M and Z33. Furthermore, he participated in solo and group exhibitions in among others the National Gallery London, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf), Venice Projects (Venice), Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam), MAD museum (NY) and Pushkin Museum (Moscow). Next to the Biennial of Venice, his work has been shown at the Biennials of Moscow, Dakar and Poznan, at the World Expo Shanghai 2010, the Triennial of Guangzhou, Manifesta 9 and at dOCUMENTA (13).
Combat - Book
Protected Paradise - Book
About Koen Vanmechelen
Belgian, b. 1965, Sint-Truiden, Belgium, based in Genk, Belgium