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11/09/07 11:35:17 am
???Twice upon times yet to come??


Tris Vonna-Michell. Photo courtesy of the artist and Dispatch.


Tris Vonna-Michell Tall Tales and Short Stories, at Distpatch, 2007.

Tris Vonna-Michell Tall Tales and Short Stories at Dispatch Bureau, Nov 11.

???I can search for him but I can??t find him.??? Tris Vonna-Michell on his quest for Henri Chopin, which has occupied him since 2005. From 2005 until now is two and a half years spent on a quest with an unrealisable outcome, if Chopin truly cannot be found. Vonna-Michell??s (almost) epic work is a sprawling web of spoken word ???tall tales?? and ???short stories?? that comprise his quest, which began with his questioning of his own identity to his father, who told him to seek Henri Chopin in Paris.

There is a lot to write about journeys going off-course, meandering wildly, having no direction and so forth. I can??t write too much about how Vonna-Michell is padding out his journey to his unreachable destination, as he wasn??t at the Dispatch Bureau where he was promised to be telling his tales.

Vonna-Michell will be live for 4 days and until then the elegant curatorial face of Dispatch Bureau will seem a little apologetic or contextualise a bit if you seem interested. In the lead up to the artist??s presence the live event continues through the purchase of a customised $10 telephone card. It looks like a telephone card, but it??s black with a curious minute image that appears to be a photograph taken from within a small black hole from which the outside world can be glimpsed.

I am told that I may call Tris and he will spin me some part of his vast, accumulative tale, or that I may call my ???mom??. The duration of the call will depend on where I am calling to and from. Spectator choice within contemporary art spectatorship is a regular occurrence; a natural extension of choice, in its various degrees of limitation, as a perennial part of life, and a progression of all historical art spectatorship that has lead to a direct foregrounding by the artist of the spectator??s self-consciousness.

A ???Will I? Won??t I???? on my part would be gratuitous to divulge, but since I have little money, am far from home and we have very recently lost my grandfather, the choice to place the call to my mother instead of Tris??s UK mobile phone is weighing heavier than it would ordinarily, when such an offering could be construed as a bit glib. This time spent pondering is also due to my instinctive trust of the said elegant curatorial face of the project. Perhaps he doesn??t want me to call? Perhaps he is further de-centering the object into more tangled communications that will not only be lost in time but also from the artist himself.

An exacerbated form of most art, like an accordion Vonna-Michell??s work points into himself, his tale, where he is and how he does it, then unravels outward to the viewer, their presence, their choice and what they bring to it. And then it explodes in suspended motion and all the pieces are framed together in a communicative network that has no ties and is intangible fragments travelling apart.

Rebecca May Marston

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