Tris Vonna-Michell:
"Finding Chopin: Endnotes 2005–2009"
Satellite programm 3 /
Curator: Elena Filipovic
from 20 October 2009
until 17 January 2010
Jeu de Paume, Paris

TRIS VONNA-MICHELL is a consummate storyteller. He elaborately constructs tales that he speaks aloud to listeners, in his typical face-paced speaking style, or leaves behind him in the form of clues or traces that narrate wild and incomprehensible connections between disparate things. Whatever the explicit subjects to which his voice turns (a crumbling post-industrial Detroit, an outdated 1980s film, a defunct music scene, German railways, a man named Otto Hahn, buildings ruined by aerial bombings), his actual subject is—perhaps always and inescapably—history (with and without a capital H). And the ways history (of necessity and by definition) takes convoluted roads to get where it has gone, a bit like the artist-orator.

For his project at the Jeu de Paume, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Paris, Vonna-Michell will extend his ongoing research on Chopin (a relatively obscure but important figure in the French post-war avant-garde, father of the typewriter poem who died in 2008), after several months researching in Paris to find the surviving acquaintances and colleagues of the deceased poet and search for any remaining photographs, film, publications and other material attesting to Chopin’s prolific but largely unknown output. The resulting installation, sound and film piece will (as with most all of Vonna Michell’s projects) combine fact and fiction, the carefully planned and the merely coincidence, the concrete and the imagined, History (with the capital H) and interpretation (with an intimately personal touch) in what will be a search for origins of sorts—of the post-war avant-garde, but also of the artist himself. The exhibition’s accompanying publication will be a true artists’ book, including a narrative written by Vonna Michell about his practice and search for Chopin. The artist’s own notebooks in which he has recorded the idiosyncratic thoughts, impressions, and ideas that are the center of his narrative practice inspire the book’s form.

Exhibition produced with the support of the Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques (FNAGP)
In collaboration with la Cité internationale des Arts

In partnership with: Artpress, mouvement et, Radio Nova,, Souvenirs from earth TV
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