Check out Merel Bekking's graduation exhibition "Well they were already dead anyway," part of her graduation project from the School of Arts in Utrecht.
The idea for the series started when Merel began researching guilty pleasures. She interviewed a number of people, but one sentence stood out. One woman really loved to buy shoes, endless pairs of shoes. However, these shoes are made from leather and leather is made from cows. But she condoned her addiction by saying saying: "Well, they were already dead anyway," referring to the cows. In Merel's own words:
This sentence was the basis of the current series. Day-old chicks, residual material from the bio-industry, can be bought frozen 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 in to material.
Extensive research preceded the current range of products. I was consciously looking for the tension between what you can do and what you can not do, between chic and tacky. In the series, there is a fashionable fur hat, despite of the very clear reference to the origin of this wonderful yellow fur. A classically stuffed chick refers to the dead, yet remains cuddly. Golden porcelain chick pendants are hung on necklaces which is a beautiful sight. However, for every pendant, a new chick was needed, so these are not as innocent as they look. The chick as a stress ball calls on both emotional and physical feelings.