From June 12th to august 31st
Koen Vanmechelen (1965) is an internationally renowned Belgian conceptual artist. Bio-cultural diversity is central to his exploratory approach. Vanmechelen has worked with scientists from various disciplines over the past ten years.
Koen Vanmechelen is best known for his 'Cosmopolitan Chicken Project' (C.C.P.), a unique art project that he started in the 1990s. The hen, or more precisely the crossing of breeds from different countries to obtain 'cosmopolitan hens', is at the heart of this worldwide project. The 27th generation of hens was born in 2022. The project has put Vanmechelen on the international art scene. However, the heart of the project is not the hen or the egg, but the crossing of species and its corollary, diversity. This same diversity is found in the other animal species, farms, projects and foundations that the artist's work encompasses. Like a modern-day Uomo Universale, Vanmechelen merges art, nature and science, drawing on everything that can help him push back the boundaries of his research.
He uses the results of his experiments in all kinds of artistic media –expressive paintings and drawings, photos, performances, sculptures, videos, new 3D techniques, glassware, (living) installations – but also puts them into practice in communities and in science. Installed in the centre of society, between people, these works point the way to a new trend of thought: a renaissance in cosmopolitanism.