Why did the chicken cross the road?
Reflections on the consumer society through the history, life and death of the chicken
Chicken’s meat is extraordinarily popular and cheap: there are about 23 billion chickens in the world of which approximately 137 million are killed each day. Despite a common perception that chicken is a healthy meat, the egg and poultry industries are incredibly detrimental to both the environment and our health. Fried chicken remains one of the most popular dishes of all times. Today a chicken is not an animal, but an economical food product. What lies behind and ahead of such a cheap meal?
Giuseppe Abate elaborated a series of materials and artworks produced with chicken’s scraps: bones, blood, eggshells, skin, egg-yolk, egg-white and egg-membrane.
For the realisation of this work they combined the organic chicken tempera colours, eggshell mosaics and chicken feet leather materials. Transforming and reimaging them into advertisements, images, proverbs, newspaper articles about brawls in chicken-shops and anything else they found on the chicken’s cult. Their aim was to reverse the often comical chicken commercials, to match two apparently different realities: the world full of violence and abuses of chicken’s meat industries and the world where stressed and non-lucid people are fighting and killing each other in cheap chicken shops.
Blood, bone, eggshell, skin, tempera
Graduate Showcase Collection Jewellery, Textiles and Materials Programme (Video)
Abate Video Cock Pit Final 2020 (Video)
Giuseppe Abate. Chicken Town KFC commercial, Sam Pilling, UK 2019; YouTube; Private Archive; 2019. The Sunday Dinner KFC commercial; Mike Gray Associates; US 1968; Private Archive; 2020