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Tris Vonna-Michell | the artist






The artist Tris Vonna-Michell
Born 1982, Southend on Sea, England.

Style and technique of the artist: Installation art, Performance Art, Video,


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Tris Vonna Michell isn't exactly what you'd call a smooth talker-in fact, his monologue performances, which involve disjointed autobiographical narratives both live and recorded, aim to disrupt one's sense of time and space. With his fast-moving voice, he tells autobiographical narratives about finding concrete poet Henri Chopin, whose move to Essex inspired his own family's relocation, or destroying his archive of photographs in isolation, like the stasi, are equal parts meandering and meticulous. They're also seductive: Vonna Michell installs his sound pieces in dimly lit spaces using a variety of antiquated media (slide projectors, or cassette decks) to add yet another consideration of time and process to the listening experience...

Vonna-Michell’s stories and actions form a personal analogue to that monumental act of dispersal and investigation: the large-scale destruction of documents by Stasi officials in 1989, and the new government’s subsequent commissioning of archivists (nicknamed ‘the puzzlers’) to reassemble the mountain of some 600 million scraps...

The performances of Tris Vonna-Michell (born Rochford, 1982, lives in Southend On Sea) are fluent, astoundingly rapid monologues that weave together histories and fictions tangentially related to the artist's own past. Vonna-Michell's delivery has been compared to the seductive, cajoling patter of a market trader, and the incongruity of this comparison is apt - the artist takes as his subject the translation of meaning from one era to the next, and the changing significance of place...