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Thomas Mailaender –Chicken Museum


“If hens lay eggs, it means they feel good, and if they feel good, it means that the exhibition is good.” This is the comment by Frédéric Mitterrand on the photographic installation by Thomas Mailaender called Chicken Museum featured at the atelier des Forges. 15 chickens were purchased at the market of Arles two weeks ago, and put into a chicken coop of 50 square meters, at the heart of the exhibition From here on.

On the wall of the chicken coop, 100 various photographs sometimes violent and pornographic chosen from the internet. The meaning: “I look at people who look at the hens that look at the images”. Everyone will interpret it in their own way.
The exhibition has provoked a violent campaign:

1: The animal protection groups (to that, Thomas answers using the comment of the minister.)

2: The association for the copyright law, as the images seen by the hens are not credited. “This exhibition is the death of the author, the disappearance of the photographer” stated a heated adversary yesterday. “Aside from these repeated attacks, the only problem is the systematic disappearance of the eggs laid. When the Minister came, there were 3 eggs, 5 minutes later, they were gone. We suspect that security is eating gigantic omelettes every day. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the hens will go on a much deserved retreat to a farm near Arles. Thomas, himself, is thinking of his next installation: a donkey.

Jean-Jacques Naudet

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