Tris Vonna-Michell

Tris Vonna-Michell (b. 1982, United Kingdom) lives and works in Stockholm. He stages installations and performs narrative structures, using spoken word, sound compositions, and photography. Through live performances and installations, Vonna-Michell creates circuitous, multilayered narratives, characterized by fragments of information, detours, and repetitions. Together with Diana Kaur he runs Mount Analogue, a publishing, curatorial, and editorial space in Stockholm. Recent solo exhibitions include: Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2015); Turner Prize 2014, Tate Britain, London; VOX, Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal (2014); Postscript II (Berlin), Jan Mot, Brussels (2013); and Finding Chopin: Endnotes, Jeu de Paume, Paris (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: The Day Will Come When Photography Revises, Kunstverein in Hamburg (2015); Society Acts – The Moderna Exhibition 2014, Moderna Museet, Malmö; and Un Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014).

Addendum II (Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex), 2015
Lightbox consisting of backlit photographic prints
Courtesy of the artist; Jan Mot, Brussels; Metro Pictures, New York; Overduin & Co, Los Angeles; and T293, Rome/Naples.

Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex, 2014Film installation (16mm film transferred to HD video), 13 min 45 sec
Courtesy of the artist; Jan Mot, Brussels; Metro Pictures, New York; Overduin & Co, Los Angeles; and T293, Rome/Naples.

Tris Vonna-Michell’s piece is the latest iteration of his film installation Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex, which revisits the artist’s research on French concrete and sound poet Henri Chopin (1922–2008). Between the 1950s and 1970s, Chopin created a large body of pioneering recordings using early tape recorders, studio technologies, and sounds of the manipulated human voice. Chopin lived in Vonna-Michell’s hometown of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, between 1968 and 1986. Vonna-Michell’s performances and installations titled Finding Chopin have been ongoing since 2005.

Originally shot on 16mm film, Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex begins and ends with scenes of the estuary and marshland of Essex filmed on a single day from dawn to dusk. The film is projected into a corner, causing the image to spill across two walls distorting part of the projection. The landscape footage bookends scenes of an elaborate tableau of staged objects, photographs, and ephemera from journeys related to Vonna-Michell’s research on Chopin.


Addendum II (Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex), 2015, Installation view KKP, GIBCA 2015. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler