National Artist Brings Animated Film to Louisville

by ekramer on May 2, 2008

A nationally known artist is in Louisville for the Monday premiere of his animated film about Chile and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mel Chin’s showing of “9-11 / 9-11” will mark the film’s Louisville premiere. Chin created it with animators from Chile and first showed it in New York and Santiago last year.

It depicts a love story and draws on the terrorist attacks in New York and the events surrounding September 11, 1973, when a U.S.-backed military coup ushered in the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Chin says he wanted to create a work that gives people new perspectives on violent intimidation.

“I felt that it was important to create a work that could de-center my preoccupation with that tragedy to avoid allowing it to become a nationalistic tragedy,” he says.

Chin has created art installations on land fills and collaborated with the makers of the 1990s television show “Melrose Place” to consistently include art on the sets. Many critics have described him as political activist, but Chin says he doesn’t see himself that way.

“To be a human being, I think you’re always an active part of the political process whether you overtly do it or not,” he says. “As an artist, I feel it is my goal to create options, to catalyze options that don’t exist yet.”

The screening of “9-11 / 9-11″ (subtitled “A Tale of Two Cities. A Tragedy of Two Times.”) is at 7 p.m., Monday, at the New Center for Contemporary Art on East Market Street, where Chin says he also will unveil a new project already underway in Louisville.

Listen to Elizabeth Kramer’s interview with Mel Chin here.

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