‘The Accident’ was an exhibition which gave a chance to a great diversity of aspects, reaching much further than glass only, but in which glass was an important metaphor indeed.
Surprise, curiosity and respect are the most important guidelines for Koen VANMECHELEN in the creation of his oeuvre. There is no doubt that these feelings were evoked in the visitors’ minds as well.
On May 4th the new GlazenHuis in Lommel was opened with the exhibition ‘The Accident’ by Koen VANMECHELEN (1965, St.-Truiden). The Accident was previously seen in Miami (US) where Agnes HÜSSLEIN was the curator. For the GlazenHuis Edith DOOVE was the curator of an adapted version that also showed new works.
The core of Koen VANMECHELEN’s work is the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, in which chicken races from all over the world are crossbred. It began when he crossbred the ‘Mechelse Koekoek’ with the French ‘Poule de Bresse’, resulting in the ‘Mechelse Bresse’. In the meantime he is already some ten generations further. For VANMECHELEN crossbreeding chickens is a means to deal with a large number of ethical, philosophical, scientific and socio-critical and political questions. Globalization, racism, cloning and genetic manipulation are just a few examples. Cross-border attention for the other is a universal and important item which gets a splendid artistic approach through the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. As articulated by Agnes HÜSSLEIN, VANMECHELEN asks fundamental questions about mankind via the chicken: “What is life?”, “What is our identity as a species and as an individual?”
The egg, as a synonym for life, is a perfect metaphor. At one side it represents fertility, the beginning, but it is also a closed, formally ideal place, a magnificent cage that will break open and from which something new will be created. And nobody knows what it will be.
Edith Doove (BE)
Koen Vanmechelen (BE)