Chapelle de Poulet AN ESSAY IN XIII PIECES
June 25, 2019 - Jeffrey Vallance
In 1978 artist Jeffrey Vallance bought a frozen fryer chicken at the Ralph’s Supermarket in Canoga Park, California. He later buried the chicken at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery after a brief memorial service. He also installed a grave marker for the frozen bird, naming her Blinky the Friendly Hen. This seriocomic artwork has taken the concept and processes of documentation to its most absurd conclusion. The piece became the quintessential conceptual artwork of the 1970s and Vallance’s straightforward approach offers a striking commentary on our society, the treatment of animals, spirituality and death. The year 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of Vallance’s Blinky project and, in celebration of this historic event, Vallance has released The Special 40th Anniversary Edition of the publication, Blinky (published in 2019 by California State University, Northridge Art Galleries) in conjunction with an exhibition at CSUN featuring a Blinky Chapel, Reliquary Chamber, Theatre, Poultry Gift Shop and “Free Range” a group show including over 80 international artists. Below, we’ve Vallance’s reflections on the sanctity of the chicken—a study of the chicken as a catechistic carrion vehicle for the serious study of spirituality in thirteen pieces. Click through the titles to take the essay piece by piece.