ENERGY/MASS – Koen Vanmechelen, Wasserman Projects, DETROIT


Wasserman Projects in Detroit presents an exhibition of works by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, whose wide-ranging oeuvre includes photography, sculpture, mixed-media installation, video, and living art initiatives.

The exhibition ENERGY/MASS also marks the opening of Vanmechelen’s permanent space; OpUnDi Detroit that, together with OpUnDi Harare (Zimbabwe) and the central hub in Genk (Belgium) forms a global project; a meeting place and think tank on biological and cultural diversity.

ENERGY/MASS features the artist’s 2D- and 3D-works, alongside live chickens from the 20th generation of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) and his latest project; the Planetary Community Chicken (PCC). The exhibition highlights the artist’s engagement with diversity and duality and spurs the scientific and social debate on balancing productivity with diversity, global with local.

In the PCC, Vanmechelen crosses his CCP roosters with local commercial hens, hereby re-connecting the universal knowledge stored in the CCP with local heritage and experience. The CCP injects diversity to the local flock and breaks the cycle of potential genetic erosion that is a risk of local inbreeding and of industrial highly efficient mono cultural production. The local chicken provides the necessary characteristics suited for the local environment and resistance to local threats. Together they create an offspring of vital chickens that can provide its host community with eggs and meat. Underscoring that to achieve success – both in terms of biological sustainability and social understanding – the local and global must work together.

“What better place than Detroit, a city built on diversity, and now invigorated by that diversity of people, cultures, ideas, art and commerce to introduce this new phase of Vanmechelen’s work in America.” Gary Wasserman, Wasserman Projects.

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