Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

Mel Chin


S.O.S. RELOADED : Bronx (2012)
Messages to the President--Straight Off the Streets (2012)

For This Side of Paradise, Mel Chin has produced a re-creation of his video S.O.S., originally made in 2004. S.O.S. -- Urgent Messages to the President from the Streets of the Bronx, in which residents offered heartfelt thoughts to the President after he was re-elected for a second term. One by one, each person stared into the camera without speaking as the text of his or her message ran along the bottom of the screen, expressing concerns about everything from the war to gay rights to heath care to the economy. The video was accompanied by a thumping, rumbling audio -- the sound of the interviewees’ heartbeats, taped by Chin.

For this version Chin and his team returned to the diverse neighborhoods of the Bronx capturing their cardio sound tracks and messages from the pavement to the president. S.O.S Reloaded: Bronx 2012 has recorded the residents’ reactions, both intellectually and physically, to this same question, eight years later addressed now to President Obama. The result is a remarkably intimate and honest portrait of the Bronx and its diverse residents. A copy of this video has been sent to President Obama.

Thanks to Christi Ta, Chris Gonzalez, Khirlu Burton, Christie Chie Takahashi, and Michael Max Knobbe at BronxNet.