Tris Vonna-Michell

Apr 1, 2009 - Apr 12, 2009

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Tris Vonna-Michell, The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2009. Photo by Nicole Stevens.

 

Tris Vonna-Michell, The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2009. Photo by Nicole Stevens.

 

Tris Vonna-Michell, The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2009. Photo by Nicole Stevens.  Tris Vonna-Michell, The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2009. Photo by Nicole Stevens.  

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British artist Tris Vonna-Michell delivers performances designed to capitalize on their live setting. Suggestive of the morphology of oral histories, his monologues undergo constant alteration and abstraction—where improvisation, on-the-fly edits, and changing conditions determine the nature of the tale being told. Drawing from personal journeys, urban histories, and childhood memories, Vonna-Michell weaves together disparate threads at rapid-fire pace. The artist’s subsequent installations often combine sound, images, and objects—video, slide projections, or photocopied texts he shuffles on to the floor—as he invites his viewers (and listeners) to reconstruct the narrative from an assemblage of fragments. 

On the eve of his exhibition opening in the Front Room, Vonna-Michell performs several takes of a new story. In a dizzying sequence of personal, historical, and coincidental anecdotes, he brings together myth, fantasy, and reality. The subsequent sound recording—capturing Tris’s monologue, but also the clicking slide carousel and the sounds of the crowd—is then replayed in the emptied space of the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. 

 

 

Sponsors

General support for the Contemporary’s exhibitions program is generously provided by the Whitaker Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; William E. Weiss Foundation; Regional Arts Commission; Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Arts and Education Council; Nancy Reynolds and Dwyer Brown; and members of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.