Well, They Are Already Dead Anyway
https://vimeo.com/39818189 Well, They Are Already Dead Anyway is the name of an exhibition by Merel Bekking at OBJECT Rotterdam. As her main material, the Dutch artist used taxidermied chicks. “The series began with a fascination for bad habits. Things I hate to love … Those things that are so nice …
Well, They Are Already Dead Anyway is the name of an exhibition by Merel Bekking at OBJECT Rotterdam. As her main material, the Dutch artist used taxidermied chicks.
“The series began with a fascination for bad habits. Things I hate to love … Those things that are so nice to do, but somehow don’t really feel right” the artist says.
The project was about ‘guilty pleasures.’ In her research, one of the subjects told her she was addicted to constantly buying new shoes, these shoes are made from leather and leader comes from cows. Her interviewee literally said: “Maarja denk ik dan, die waren toch al dood.” It translates into: “Well, they were already dead anyway.” A statement she found incredibly interesting, which became the genesis for the project presented today.
Apparently, day-old chicks, residual material from the bio-industry, can be bought frozen for 2 Euros 35 per kilo at your local pet store. You buy paint by the liter, fabric by the meter, and apparently chicks by the kilo. In this way, the chicks are not chicks anymore but they are turned into material.
From the artist’s website:
“Extensive research preceded the current range of products. Merel Bekking was consciously looking for the tension between what you can do and what you cannot do, between chic and tacky. In the series, there is a fashionable fur hat, despite of the very clear reference to the origin of this wonderful yellow fur. A classically stuffed chick refers to the dead, yet remains cuddly. Golden porcelain chick pendants are hung on necklaces, which is a beautiful sight. However, for every pendant, a new chick was needed, so these are not as innocent as they look. The chick as a stress ball calls on both emotional and physical feelings. The chick as a puppet refers both to children’s toys and entertainment at the cost of a chick’s life. Finally, the trophy heads of plastic, which are, by of the way of making, coated with the fur of one baby chick smeared out over seven screaming heads.
This series by Merel Bekking shows that you can make design with animals in a non-judgmental, pedantic or shocking way. The audience is left to judge the products themselves, based on their own, individual, standards. The series seems to be asking for an opinion, but in fact, does not need it at all. That is the essence of these products. By not wanting to be moralistic, the dead chickens become products and are no longer merely seen as products made from dead baby chickens. Open and uninhibited. The chicks can be petted, they can be worn, hung for decoration or even relieve stress.”
“It’s like a bad habit,” Bekking concludes “you may feel that is not really correct, but it feels so good.”
All images ©Merel Bekking