The Story of Chickens: A Revolution (exhibition)

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Date: 2012

Region: North America

Subject: Animal Cruelty

Medium: Public Art


Artist: Amber Hansen

Confronting Bodies: Animal rights activists (including Lawrence's Compassion For All Animals, United Poultry Concerns)

Dates of Action: February-March, 2012

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

Description of Artwork: Hansen intended to display a coop of chickens in various locations in Lawrence; the chickens would be cared for by volunteers from the community. After the completion of this segment of the project, the chickens were to be killed in a public setting by a local farmer and the chicken meat would subsequently be served in a potluck dinner. Hansen's objective for this piece was to connect people back to the animals they eat. In her own words, "the project will transform the contemporary view of chickens as merely 'livestock' to the beautiful and unique creatures they are, while promoting alternative and healthy processes of caring for them."

The Incident: According to Assistant City Attorney Chad Sublet, Hansen ran the risk of violating the town's animal cruelty ordinance, resulting in a fine and possible jail time. Animal rights activists "had expressed concerns, including that the public display would be stressful for the animals."

Results of Incident: Lawrence city officials have banned the project. Hansen recently stated that "the project will move forward to accommodate that discussion, but it will abide by the city's codes." Currently, there is little information regarding how Hansen would alter the project, though she is considering alternatives, such as a public sculpture.

Source: NY Daily News article