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Sound-poet Tris Vonna-Michell unusually embraces silence for his solo show at La Verrière, preferring instead to concentrate on imagery. His photographs, films and installations adopt a rigorous, minimalist aesthetic while conveying an inherent sense of mystery, making him a natural candidate for the space’s Ballistic Poetry season.
Punctuations & Perforations is a large-scale installation created by British artist Tris Vonna-Michell (b.1982) for the Foundation’s Brussels art space, La Verrière. ‘The ensemble is conceived as a landscape dotted with film projections, photographs, sound elements and objects that together constitute a sequence of “images in the mind”, or a dream unfolding in real space,’ says curator Guillaume Désanges. Combining recent works and new pieces, the exhibition’s extreme rationality borders – paradoxically – on the unreal, generating a disturbing poetry all its own.
Vonna-Michell is noted for his vocal performances, but does not express himself directly here. Instead, the score of Register – one of two films at the heart of the installation – contributes a heady musical soundtrack. Register takes the form of a (sometimes animated) slideshow, charting an otherwise unidentified journey in Japan. The show offers a critical examination of the central theme of memory, encapsulated in a series of aquariums transformed into curious ‘lightboxes’ containing objects and images.
In a semi-darkened space, La Verrière presents a second video, the eponymous Punctuations & Perforations – a silent enactment of a protocol, rigorously descriptive yet mysterious and, as such, eminently characteristic of Vonna-Michell’s approach as a whole. Influenced by the work of French sound poet Henri Chopin, Vonna-Michell here embodies the central concept of the Ballistic Poetry season at La Verrière. Despite its rigorous objectivity, says Guillaume Désanges, his work evades our grasp and remains ‘abstracted from any pre-determined meaning’.
La Verrière / Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
50, boulevard de Waterloo – 1000 Brussels
Monday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Curator: Guillaume Désanges
Cultural mediation: Audrey Cottin +32 4 71 44 81 50 / firstname.lastname@example.org