"Well, they were already dead anyway"
The series “Well, they were already dead anyway” began with a fascination for bad habits, the “Things I hate to love”. Those things that are so nice to do, but somehow don’t feel quite right. This sentence came from a woman who was constantly buying new shoes. However, these shoes are made from leather. Leather is made from cows. Her shoes are made of cows.
But she tolerated her addiction by literally saying: " Well, they were already dead anyway”. A statement that is incredibly interesting.
This sentence became the basis of the series. Frozen day-old chicks, residual material from the bio-industry, can be bought for 2 euros 35 per kilo at your local pet store. You buy paint by the liter, fabric by the meter, and apparently chicks by the kilo. In this way, the chicks are not chicks anymore but they are turned into material.
In the series, Merel Bekking was consciously looking for the tension between what you can do and what you can do not, between chic and tacky. There is a fashionable fur hat, despite of the very clear reference to the origin of this wonderful yellow almost golden fur. The stuffed chick refers to the dead, yet remains cuddly. Golden porcelain chick pendants are a beautiful sight and do remind less of their origin. However, for every pendant, a new chick was needed. These pendants are not as innocent as they look. The chick as a stress ball calls on both emotional and physical feelings. The chick as a puppet refers both to children's toys and entertainment at the cost of a chick’s life. Finally, the plastic trophy heads are by of the way of making, coated with the fur of one baby chick smeared out over seven screaming heads.
This series by Merel Bekking shows that you can make design with animals in a non-judgmental, pedantic or shocking way. There is a constant push and pull. The audience is left to judge the products themselves, based on their own, individual, standards. The series seems to be asking for an opinion, but in fact, does not need it at all. That is the essence of these products. By not wanting to be moralistic, the dead chickens become products and are no longer merely seen as products made from dead baby chickens. Open and uninhibited. The chicks can be petted, they can be worn, hung for decoration or even relieve stress.
It's like a bad habit, you may feel that is not really correct, but it feels so good.