Han Fleming | Waste
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40 dead chicks, white ceramic toilet

The modern poultry industry breeds chickens either  for eggs or for meat.  Male chicks of the egg-laying variety are superfluous, mere by-products of industrial farming. So as soon as they hatch, these chicks are killed in gas chambers or in mincing machines. Bred, born, then obliterated. Essentially, they are waste.  This body of work is not a statement supporting animal welfare; nor is its purpose to drive the viewer towards veganism. Instead, by exploring mass production and consumption the work asks us to consider an aspect of the world that, consciously or not, is common to us all.

The  40 dead chicks represent the average 40 grand annual salary of a chicken sexer – the role of separating newly hatched chicks into batches of males or females. The outdoor location emphasises that the culling process cannot be avoided by consumers; the hatching, discarding and gassing (or mincing) of male chicks happens regardless, whether the egg is produced in the now-preferred free range system or from the commercial caged system is immaterial.


2016, art, hanfleming, human animal relationship, installation, taxidermy, waste

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