PCC Invitation

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Friday, AUG 5, 2016
5:30 pm, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare



Friday, AUG 5, 2016
5:30 pm, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare



The installation in the National Gallery of Zimbabwe heralds the advent of Vanmechelen’s latest project; the Planetary Community Chicken (PCC), on the African continent. After so many years of crossbreeding in the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP), the artist found that each of the successive generations of crossbreeds is more resilient, lives longer, is less susceptible to disease and exhibits less aggressive behaviour. The Planetary Community Chicken is launched as a response to the positive outcomes of the CCP and as a means of activating his art in the community. By crossing his CCP roosters with local commercial hens, Vanmechelen re-connects the global learning of the CCP with local heritage and experience. The crossing brings diversity to the local flock and breaks through the cycle of potential genetic erosion that is a risk of local inbreeding and of industrial highly efficient mono cultural production. Concurrent, the local chicken provides the necessary characteristics suited for the local environment and superior resistance to local threats.

At the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the result of this crossing, the CC2016, is moving across the sand bedding of the Courtauld gallery. The chicken coops are made of clay-and-stick by people from nearby communities in the ancient tradition of Dhaka hut making. The chickens are fed mushrooms grown by food expert and social entrepreneur Chido Govera and the local communities. Govera’s Harare-based foundation; The Future of Hope, is enabling disadvantaged orphans, women, and communities to lift themselves out of poverty through agriculture. The chicken’s droppings are used as the breeding soil for the mushrooms. The eggs are collected and sold by the locals. Combined, chickens, mushrooms and eggs make a living and life-giving ecosystem that can be managed by the local communities.

In the garden, Vanmechelen's Cosmogolem statue is built; a large wooden structure symbolising liberation and freedom. It becomes part of the worldwide socially-artistic Cosmogolem project with statues in more than 30 countries. The visitors, children and adults alike, are invited to share their hopes and dreams with others by participating in the Cosmogolem workshops that are part of the exhibition.

unnamed“It is their future and ours. In this collaboration we are translating the message for diversity and global connectivity into local empowerment. Simultaneously, we are integrating the local heritage, making the local contributions an integrated part of the global storyline.”
Koen Vanmechelen
Local carpenters are working on the CosmoGolem
Installing the Cosmogolem at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Chido Govera at her mushroom breeding center of the Future of Hope


Planetary Community Chicken
5 - 31 AUG, 2016
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
20 Julius Nyerere Way


Planetary Community  Chicken by Koen Vanmechelen
Moderator: Tandazani Dhlakama (Curator for education)
Monday 8 August, 2016
2.30 - 4.00 PM
National Gallery of Zimbabwe, MMCZ Gallery

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