Why did the chicken cross the road?
Reflections on the Consumer Society through the History, Life and Death of 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, 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 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 realization of this work he combined the Organic Chicken Tempera Colours, the Eggshell Mosaic and the Chicken Feet Leather materials with advertisements, images, proverbs, newspaper articles about brawls into chicken-shops, and anything else he found on the chicken’s cult. His aim was to reverse the often- comical chicken commercials, and 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.
This project is a reflection on the Consumer Society: Chicken Town (1) where is possible to get The Sunday Dinner (2) for £6.00 every day, but for what actual price?
(1) Chicken Town KFC commercial, Sam Pilling, UK 2019; YouTube; Private Archive; 2019
(2) The Sunday Dinner KFC commercial; Mike Gray Associates; US 1968; Private Archive; 2020