Mel Chin: All Over the Place, presents a multi-location exhibition with exciting manifestations of the work of Mel Chin co-produced by the Queens Museum and No Longer Empty. The exhibition will span nearly four decades of Chin’s malleable and wide-ranging approach to artistic practice. Exhibition sites in New York City include the Queens Museum, Times Square, and the Broadway-Lafayette subway station.
The objects in All Over the Place will be organized around the themes that have long influenced Chin’s thinking, including the natural environment, socioeconomic systems and injustice, the weight of grief as well as the lightness of humor to reveal truths. Select works will highlight Chin’s engagement of multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork in order to posit community-based solutions to ecological and sociopolitical crises.
All Over the Place will debut three newly commissioned projects, Flint Fit, Unmoored, and Wake. Flint Fit, consists of a complex triangulation of places and processes. A surplus of empty plastic water bottles in Flint, Michigan that stems from the lead contaminated local water supply is currently being gathered and sent to a processing facility in Greensboro, North Carolina. There, the bottles will be transformed into thread and fabric and sent on to renowned fashion designer and Michigan native, Tracy Reese, in New York City. Reese will design the Flint Fit Collection using the new material and the Flint-based women’s sewing collective at the N.E.W. Life Center will manufacture all the garments back in Michigan.
Unmoored is planned as a surreal phenomenon pushing Augmented Reality to fill the skies above Times Square. This installation provokes an astonishing moment with a glimpse into the future. A parallel work, Wake, commissioned by the Times Square Alliance, is a presence evoking the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal bleached by erosion and time. A larger-than-life ship’s figurehead based on Jenny Lind, the superstar of the 19th century, surveys the air above her. While offering a shift from the frenetic energy of the city, these works evoke the city’s triumphs, its grave dark past, and create and a place for contemplation.
(Photo: Mel Chin, Sea to See, installation view. Courtesy Mint Museum of Art/Mel Chin Studio.)