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Gallus gallus domesticus "Still Lifes"

Gallus gallus domesticus: a domesticated gallinaceous bird ....used as a source of eggs  and meat, typically having a fairly large, stout body, a comb and wattles on the head, and large feet for foraging on the ground. Oxford English Dictionary 


Originally bred from “red junglefowl” (Gallus gallus) indigenous to South East Asia, domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) were carried around the world on the tide of human migration. Easily transported and looked after, they have provided convenient sources of meat, eggs, feathers and plumage over some 7,400 years. Through selective breeding, humans have modified the species in shape, size and colour for the purposes of food production, fighting and display. They also came to be used for spiritual, divination and ceremonial purposes attaining both practical and symbolic roles across cultures.

The “Still Lifes” aim to question and play upon Victorian notions of classification, specimens, analysis and vitrine display. The chickens in the photograph were bred purely for show creating a tension between an individual living creatures and examples of human conceptions of an idealised type. The camera’s ability to freeze the image creates the superficial appearance of a taxidermied animal situated in a curio cabinet. Some of the chickens in the series are presented in correct poses according to the requirements of poultry shows. While others have deviated from the set standards displaying their natural tendency to ‘misbehave’ and/or react to unconventional backgrounds or the presence of inanimate objects. 

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