Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

Southeast Queens Biennial

February 9 - April 21, 2018

Mel Chin

As an artist, Mel Chin incorporates a variety of approaches and utilizes a variety of media. His interdisciplinary, collaborative pieces reflect the socially conscious themes of Bring in the Reality and embody the direct community engagement that NLE values. For the video document S.O.S. Reloaded: Bronx, originally commissioned for This Side of Paradise, Chin interviewed and filmed Bronx community members about the state of their community, and of the country more broadly. The silent video portraits are accompanied by their messages, rendered as news tickers moving across the bottom of the screen. A soundtrack of the interviewee’s heartbeats pounds loudly – the only sound in the video. These messages, from a diverse sampling of residents, communicate personal, critical messages to President Obama, and a copy of the video was sent to the president. The piece provides an alternative to sterile data collection, and highlights the information that is lost in impersonal governmental surveys. Chin gives voice to everyday people, but ironically removes sound from the video, consequently highlighting the voicelessness we feel when critiquing our country’s leaders.

S.O.S. RELOADED: Bronx for No Longer Empty, This Side of Paradise, 2012
Video document
Duration: 6 min., 18 sec.
Courtesy of the artist 
Photo: Courtesy of the artist