The Worth of Life - Performance

In The Worth of Life performance, artist Koen Vanmechelen joins his chickens in quarantine.

In the artist’s renowned crossbreeding projects, the chickens reveal themselves as a metaphor for humanity and the way we choose to live and evolve.

The metaphor is our new reality. We have become the chicken, kept indoors, cordoned off, kept apart. After repeatedly isolating other infected species we are now quarantining ourselves, the most domesticated species of all.

The whole performance has been broken down in five chapters. In each chapter you see the artwork evolving while the artist introduces a different aspect of his work.


Chapter 1: "Fertility Comes from the outside"

Meet the artist in this first chapter, where he introduces himself while he starts from a blank page.

Chapter II: Every organism is looking for another organism to survive

While the blank pages start to come alive, the contours of the artist’s work begin to take shape. Vanmechelen talks about his animals and Open Farms. It becomes clear how his art is rooted in the very worth of life. How crossbreeding generates new ideas, new life. The farms are a metaphor for the artist’s continuous search for the other(s), to build meaningful connections. “Every organism is looking for another organism to survive”

Chapter III: ‘‘Breaking the borders of clarity to enter into a new reality”

The volcano erupts. The energy flows. Unfettered, undirected. The color explosions bring about a diversity of drawings and ideas, the very essence of the artists’ work. We discover LABIOMISTA; the artist’s studio in Genk, Belgium, including a 24ha park. An extensive, continuously evolving work of art dedicated to the mix of life. A unique place, full of wonder, born out of the artist’s endless imagination.

Vanmechelen states; ‘‘Breaking the borders of clarity to enter into a new reality”

Chapter IV: “The Global only exist through the Generosity of the local”

Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen's work is all about the other(s), both human and non-human animals.

In this fourth chapter, while the chickens take over the installation, he speaks about his quests and interdisciplinary projects that invite others to work together and create an awareness and a movement of communities around the world. From his studio LABIOMISTA in Genk, to the CosmoGolem and Human Rights House in Tulum; engagement is key. He encourages you to remember; “The Global only exist through the Generosity of the local”

Chapter V: “Children are our immune system; their future is our health”

The closing chapter of artist Koen Vanmechelen's performance The Worth of Life, is dedicated to our future; the new generation. With his sculpture the CosmoGolem, Vanmechelen created a giant of hope. A friend to all the children of the world and protector of universal children rights. The artist also introduces the concept of the Human Rights Pavilion and accompanying cosmocafes which he launched last year at the Biennial of Venice. With the Human Rights House in Tulum, he invites you to join the project, join in on the conversation about human rights and the way we live together, to generate new ideas for a new world.