Tuesday December 13, 2016

The biggest secret in life lies in the art of crossbreeding chickens

Koen Vanmechelen's Cosmopolitan Chicken Project exhibit currently showing in Detroit, MI.

Koen Vanmechelen's Cosmopolitan Chicken Project exhibit currently showing in Detroit, MI. (Stoffel Hias)

Listen 6:23

Artist Koen Vanmechelen thinks the biggest secret in life is duality and he can prove that through the art of chicken breeding. 

For 20 years, Vanmechelen has been crossbreeding chickens under his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (an exhibit of Vanmechelen's work is currently showing at Detroit's Wasserman Projects until Dec. 17) and through it, he has created a genetic data base that now exceeds 13 million genes. 

Koen Vanmechelen

Artist Koen Vanmechelen has been crossbreeding chickens for 20 years now under his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. (Stoffel Hias)

What does that mean, though?

"When you put two things together, there is something new that can come out of this," Vanmechelen explains. "I think it's an important work because it tells us that by crossbreeding, we are all individuals and we all have our own sound, behaviour [...] diversity is so essential to living that this work tells us that if you crossbreed, new ideas will come, there's a new point in evolution — you become more fertile, you become more immune, you become more diverse." 

Koen Vanmechelen

Artist Koen Vanmechelen has been crossbreeding chickens for 20 years now under his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. (Koen Vanmechelen)