The oeuvre of Mel Chin (b. 1951 in Houston) encompasses a wide variety of media including sculpture, video, drawing, painting, land art, and performance art. Eschewing a trademark style, the common thread through Chin's practice is his conceptual rigor, thoughtful historicism, and concern for social justice. His land-based works such as Revival Field from the early 1990s and Operation Paydirt (2008-ongoing), garnered significant international press for presenting the science of soil remediation as an art form. Challenging the traditional concept of a retrospective as a linear presentation of a single individual's work over time, the publication celebrates the artist's practice of constant evolution, re-examination, and collaboration. The catalogue will also include an extensive illustrated chronology of his career. Exhibition: New Orleans Museum of Art, USA (21.02-25.05.2014) and further venues.
In this interview, I pursue with Chin the idea of his work as a “posthumanist” form of art, not only in terms of its thematic occupation with the natural environmental, ecological welfare, and technological development, but also in terms of its process-oriented methodology.
The article focuses on New York-based artist Allison Janae Hamilton who uses the narrative of black experience in the U.S. as a conceptual backdrop to her films, photographs, and installations, as an effort to explore the historical connections between African American life and nature.