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Mel Chin: 9-11 / 9-11

animated image of man running down street

9-11/9-11

MEL CHIN

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 – NEW YORK CITY
SEPTEMBER 11, 1973 – SANTIAGO

September 4 – November 14, 2021

Opening Reception: Sat. Sept. 4 from 7-10PM


The terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City forever scarred the trust of the American people. On the same date, 28 years before, the US-supported military overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende ushered in 17 years of autocratic rule under dictator Augusto Pinochet, leaving more than 3,000 dead and countless victims of torture.

In this dark and intensely compelling, animated short film, 9-11/9-11, Mel Chin creates a tale of two cities… a tragedy of two times, weaving together a story of love and hope wrecked by overt and covert manipulations of power. 9-11/9-11is presented as part of a global dialogue about the human impact of these collective traumas.  Chin speaks of the need to â“de-centerâ” these traumas in order to prevent a nationalistic preoccupation often used to justify endless war.

The film is an international collaboration between Chin, American filmmaker Chip Schneider, and Chilean animation partners PlanoVisual Estudio de Animacií³n in Santiago, Chile. The voice cast includes American actress Lili Taylor (State of Mind, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dogfight), well-known Chilean satirist Juan Carlos â“Paltaâ” Melendez, and popular Chilean stars Sandro Larenas, and Rosario Zamora. The musical score follows the US/ Chile theme with original music by trumpeter Ben Neill (USA) and Juan Carlos Oyarzíºn (Chile). Additional music by Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rí³s.

The film premiered on 9-11-2007 with a live videoconference linking Tribeca Cinemas in New York City with the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda in Santiago – a museum at the site of the 1973 military coup. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Mel Chin’s (b. 1951 Houston, Texas) art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.

Chin also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a project that has been a pioneer in the field of â“green remediation,â” the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the collective, the GALA Committee, that produced In the Name of the Place, a conceptual public art project conducted on American prime-time television. In KNOWMAD, Chin worked with software engineers to create a video game based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance. His film, 9-11/9-11, a hand-drawn, 24-minute, joint Chilean/USA Production, won the prestigious Pedro Sienna Award, for Best Animation, National Council for the Arts and Cultures, Chile, in 2007. Chin also promotes â“works of artâ” that have the ultimate effect of benefiting science, as in Revival Field, and also in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city (see www.fundred.org.) These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy, which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology.

Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program, Art of the 21st Century. Chin has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others.