Tris Vonna-Michell

Milliken Gallery

“I am in my mother’s room. It’s I who live there now. I don’t know how I got there.” The opening lines of Samuel Beckett’s Molloy capture Tris Vonna-Michell’s edgy amnesiac turns around the foibles of life, the crux of his installation Down the Rabbit Hole, 2003–2006. The twilit gallery was empty but for a desk, an ensemble of storytelling props, an enormous projection of an inverted slide showing the artist walking up a white staircase to a locked door, and the sound of Vonna-Michell’s soft voice. Over three weeks the artist sat behind the desk giving an account of himself, one visitor at a time. The mood of his telling was confessional and the story line unswerving, save for scaling time to what each listener had to spend; from just two minutes to more than an hour.

Vonna-Michell’s tale begins with an ending: The house where he was raised is to be sold, and his accumulated belongings must

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