Koen Van Mechelen ( 1965 )

Koen Vanmechelen is an internationally acclaimed conceptual artist. His groundbreaking work focuses on biocultural diversity and identity. In the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, his most famous work, Vanmechelen interbreeds domestic chickens from different countries, aiming to create a true cosmopolitan chicken as a symbol for global diversity. Through his various projects and foundations, the artists fuses art and science, meditates on globalization and advocates human rights. His work has been presented on almost all continents, among which are the 2013 Biennial of Venice and the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. In Vetro (Italian for ‘glass’) combines some essential elements in Vanmechelen’s oeuvre: fragility, transparency, fertility and the tension between now and later, visible and invisible. The installation is a composition of two sculptures. The prints display two chicken species. One is of Vanmechelen’s own crossings and the other is the original species, the Red Junglefowl, which is the proverbial Eve of all existing chickens. 8,000 years of manipulation and domestication separates them as visualized by a human hand. The central glass egg is surrounded by a ring of silver chicken legs, symbolizing the generations protecting and restricting the pluripotent egg. The future will reveal the balance and the answer has forever been slumbering in the glass egg.