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Artist Statement


Photo © Lies Willaert

After repeatedly isolating other infected species, we are now quarantining ourselves, the most domesticated species of all..

The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project is an art project in which chickens of different

nationalities are crossed. This process is a metaphor for creating a vital and healthy

society. In the past 25 years, this project has had to break through many barriers.

From international borders and mental walls to compulsory fencing and housing

for chicken flu.


My thesis, “we are the chickens”, is becoming increasingly evident. What we do

with the chickens will happen to us someday.

Today it is more than necessary to make a statement that we should show more

respect for nature and no longer occupy the space where nature should be

undisturbed. We make this statement through a specially designed face mask with

a highly charged symbolism. A volta is possible. We must define domestication and

work on open physical and mental spaces to create a better society and protect

fellow humans and fellow species. It is time for a sharp turnaround and high time

to focus on the well-being of the other(s).


This is not a chicken!


The masks are supported by our Mouth Foundation and are distributed to all our

social projects at home and abroad. From the LABIOMISTA farm in Belgium to the

Future of Hope in Zimbabwe. Through and thanks to our people, we will set a strong

example to protect the other(s). Together, we will show the turnaround and become

the pioneers of our recovery and healing process.

Protecting the other!

Koen Vanmechelen, April 2020

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