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Hellen Vallier of the University of Houston's Honors College will lead a discussion of Mel Chin: Rematch, followed by lunch, which is on Blaffer.
Vallier teaches in The Human Situation sequence and is the associate director of the Medicine and Society Program. Her teaching and research interests fall broadly within western and colonial/postcolonial medicine and technology from the late 19th to late 20th century.
Rematch is the most expansive survey of Chin's work to date and a homecoming for one of the city's most renowned artists. The 31 works on view at Blaffer Art Museum include documentation of Chin's major science-based projects, most famously Revival Field (begun in 1990), in which he worked with agronomist Rufus Chaney on monumental "sculptures" that used phytoremediation — the use of metal-accumulating plants to absorb toxins from contaminated soil — as a reductive technique, similar to the way a sculptor carves away marble.