121 x 133cm | Oil on linen

The models for the chickens depicted in this work come from a souvenir shop in Disney Land Paris. A firm grip around the body of a yellow, soft rubber chicken and a gooey egg pops out at the bottom. Loosen the grip and the egg retracts in a flash. The chickens are so stretchy you could tie them in knots. They remind us of humans: When we get too comfortable, when we are no longer used to fighting for our rights, we stop being critical, become sluggish, thoughtless or even bend over backwards to become downright cowards. Understandable, because every fight always means a possible loss - even if it's "only" harmony and peace, in addition to health, possessions and goods.

"Chickenshit" means "coward" in English and is a term that even children like to use when they want to put pressure on each other, e.g. to "encourage" others to do daring deeds.

My interpretation of "Chickenshit" is also meant to encourage people to have the courage to say "NO! Because group pressure is and remains responsible for much suffering and injustice.

"YES" is often easily and quickly said, and secures one's place within the longed-for herd. With "NO", on the other hand, you are quickly pilloried as a black sheep and on the margins all alone, often even creating enemies or putting yourself in danger. However, history shows that there are also enough, initially mostly invisible advocates and admirers who typically can only be persuaded to say "NO!" as part of a larger group, just like the first brave ones.

I like them black sheep and hereby present: "Chickenshit!" Maybe it will help, and at least encourage one or the other to say a personal, long overdue "NO!" in their lives.

Fiona Hernuss 2016

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