curated by_vienna 2012: art or life. aesthetics and biopolitics GALERIE STEINEK_curated by JULIEN ROBSON MEL CHIN “IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK”

curated by_vienna is an ambitious project that commissions co-operations between Vienna’s leading contemporary art galleries and internationally renowned curators. Now in its fourth year, curated by_vienna 2012 will be held in 21 galleries throughout the city, opening on September 20 and running until October 25. This year’s project art or life: aesthetics and biopolitics, conceived by Eva Maria Stadler in cooperation with the galleries, explores the interconnections between work, economy, knowledge, and politics (

The Opening will be on the 20th of september 2012 from 6 to 10pm. Under title „IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK“, JULIEN ROBSON presents a solo show by MEL CHIN.

“Making objects and marks is also about making possibilities, making choices—and that is one of the last freedoms we have. To provide that is one of the functions of art.”

Mel Chin is best known for his collaborative, cross-disciplinary artistic investigations into social, political, and ecologically charged topics. In a practice that can variously be found in the landscape and public spaces, as much as the gallery or museum, he weaves art and life together to disclose and help remedy the social and environmental toxicity that surrounds us. Viewing his art as a vehicle to catalyze action and provoke greater social awareness and responsibility, Chin acknowledges and embraces the complex entanglement of the aesthetic with political, economic, and social concerns. In works that are both analytic and poetic, he employs art’s ability to effect changes in human consciousness by revealing structures and connections that can’t always be seen.

In this exhibition Chin explores the dissociative aspects of contemporary American life, where tension and conflict ferment beneath the repressive myths and contradictions surrounding ideas of freedom, patriotism, and social unity. In objects, videos, and drawings he speaks to the production and frustration of desire in consumerism, the tragedy wreaked by the covert manipulation of power and loss of historical memory, the hidden toxic residues of industrialization, and the disconnect between individuals in society and the institutional powers that shape their lives. Julien Robson

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