“The chicken incident? Do you mean throwing chicken into the audience? Which came first, the chickens or the feathers?” 

These are the words said in an interview by Vincent Furnier, known as Alice Cooper, about what went down in history as The infamous chicken incident: in 1969, during a live performance at a festival in Toronto, someone from the audience threw to the band a chicken which in turn was picked up and thrown back into the crowd by Furnier himself. This event gave rise to a series of rumors and controversies that increased the band’s fame as a performers: often during concerts they pushed themselves towards extreme situations, scandalizing and provoking the public.

Edoardo Ciaralli with his work The life of an infamous chicken (2019) seems to give continuation to this event that lies between the news and the legend, perhaps even taking it to a new stage: in the artist’s installation a butcher’s chicken comes alive thanks to a transplant of metal components, such as prostheses, which make the animal’s body move as if to simulate a walk. Ciaralli seems to have spiritually taken the chicken launched by Furnier and gives to it a new life: the animal moves in an awkward and almost grotesque way and its actions lead to nothing but a constant dispersion of energy. The cyborg chicken created by the artist is a switch that generates a series of visions and meanings, as if to anticipate an extinction of the animal being as we know it, ready to describe a new kind of life, inextricably linked to the machine. Ciaralli’s artwork seems to be a celebration of the ordinariness of this pet: deprived of the aura of celebrity given to him by the Alice Cooper event, it shows itself in all its banality, but despite this it manages to amaze with unexpected charm and magnetism.

The slow movement of the chicken thighs protagonist of Ciaralli’s work takes on a romantic aspect: the artist has staged a choreography in which animal and technology meet in harmony and naturalness. The sculpture, through its activation, evolves into a performance thanks to which the artist is able to explore organic and mechanical materials and properties of the chicken and the machine. The incident of Alice Copper’s infamous chicken is an opportunity to amplify the historic and iconic gesture, to generate a new narrative, a hypothetical second life of this animal and above all to return to amaze the public with a performance that breaks the boundaries between theater and life.



Edoardo Ciaralli
The infamous Life of a dead chicken, 2019
Installation with various object
© Edoardo Ciaralli