How a tiny gallery from Brussels (and Tris Vonna-Michell) could win the Turner Prize

Tris Vonna-Michell, Postscript II (Berlin), 2013, installation view at Jan Mot, Brussels, 7 November 2013 - 8 February 2014 Courtesy the artist and Jan Mot, Brussels / Mexico City

In a world where everyone and everything seems to be focused on ‘big, bigger, biggest’, it’s a comforting thought that the small ones can be winners too. Even if they’re from Belgium. (I’m talking about art galleries, of course.) Who would have thought that a solo show in a tiny gallery in Brussels would be nominated for the Turner Prize, celebrating it’s 30th year but still Britain’s most important prize for contemporary art? Cause that is what has happened.

Tris Vonna-Michell, one of this year’s four nominees, is nominated for a show at Jan Mot (7 November 2013-8 February 2014), that modest, small gallery at the end of the Rue Dansaertstraat. I wonder if we have to thank Wiels-director Dirk Snauwaert, one of the members of this year’s jury, for that. And yes, Vonna-Michell now has to show work in a special Turner Prize exhibition, at Tate Britain (30 September-4 January), with Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips and James Richards, but, as the Tate points out (9 things you need to know about the Turner Prize): that exhibition has no bearing on the decision. The prize (£ 60.000) is awarded purely on the works they were nominated for. So, Postscript II (Berlin) could win Tris Vonna-Michell and Jan Mot a Turner Prize. I’m impressed. The winner will be announced on Monday 1 December. More info on Vonna-Michell’s show? Just Google his name and Postscript II and you can download a pdf with a text.

This is what the jury has to say about his work: “Through fast paced spoken word live performances and recordings, Vonna-Michell creates circuitous, multilayered narratives. Accompanied by installations providing a visual script in the form of slide projections, photocopies and other ephemera, Vonna-Michell’s works are characterised by fragments of information, detours and repetitions designed to confuse and enlighten in equal measure.”

Want to visit Jan Mot? Hurry, cause the gallery will soon be moving shop. You can see the last show at the ‘old’ location till May 17 (Robert Barry). By June 11, Jan Mot will have moved to Rue de la Régence/Regentschapsstraat 67, to a building Catherine Bastide, Micheline Szwajcer (Antwerp) and Chez Perrotin (Paris) will also be moving to.








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