carlier | gebauer

Laure Prouvost

Exhibitions at carlier | gebauer





Laure Prouvost, Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois ce bleu profond te fondre
Bilingual edition. Co-edited by Flammarion/Institut français
(directed by Martha Kirszenbaum)
272 pages - 215 x 285 mm
EAN : 9782081485501
ISBN : 9782081485501


Laure Prouvost
Book Works and M HKA, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-906012-99-1


Laure Prouvost
Laure Prouvost: Ring, Sing and Drink for Trespassing, Palais de Tokyo 
les presses du réel, 2018
ISBN: 978-2-37896-022-3


Laure Prouvost 
We Will Go Far / A Way to Leak, Leek
Musee d'Art Contemporain de Rochechouart, Fahrenheit by FLAX, 2016 
ISBN: 978-2-37372-014-3184 


Laure Prouvost  
Laure Prouvost: Hit. Flash. Back
Mousse Publishing, 2016 
ISBN: 9788-8674-9233-6272 


Laure Prouvost 
Laure Prouvost: We Would Be Floating Away from the Dirty Past
Walther Koenig, 2016 
(Ed) Julienne Lorz 
ISBN: 9783-9609-8012-496 


Laure Prouvost
This Book Likes You, (Artist Book) 
Book Works, 2013 
ISBN: 978-1-906012-44-1 -296 


Laure Prouvost: ‘My work cannot exist without someone looking’
Laure Prouvost’s world is a wonderland of fantastic grandparents, ego museums and translated emotions
by Rachael Vance

Turner Prize-winning French artist Laure Prouvost animates real life encounters that spark memories and associations. Using a network of ambiguous signifiers, she mystifies and tantalises, drawing audiences deep into her work. Indeed, the experience of her art is like that of Alice going down the rabbit hole, where words, images and sounds carry unexpected, and sometimes startling, meanings.

Late one afternoon on a cold winter’s day in her studio in Antwerp, Prouvost called SLEEK to discuss the strange logic of her aesthetic universe, as well as her current shows at the HangarBicocca in Milan, and Kunstmuseum Luzerne in Switzerland. The results were curious, to say the least.

Many people have become familiar with your work since you won the Turner Prize. You spent many years living in the UK. Do you feel British?

I travel a lot. I feel like I am a plane. I feel very metallic with my body spraying petrol all around the world. I feel European. In terms of nationality, Europe was a big thing and it has been pretty sad for me with Brexit. London has a nasty taste. I am more or less living underground, looking into histories in general.

Your exhibition at at the HangarBicocca, “GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center”, reflects this. It draws upon a story you’ve referenced – a “family history” – about your grandfather in several works, including your 2013 Turner-winning installation “Wantee”, and your 2015 exhibition “Burrow” among others. He was, you claim, an artist and contemporary of Kurt Schwitters, who disappeared down a hole he’d dug under the hut he lived in. You’ve never said who he was, but perhaps that’s part of your strategy.

The show is an extension of previous works. I started collecting money to make a visitor centre for my grandfather. It was my grandmother’s idea. She really wanted to do it in the hope of him coming back, so he could see how much everybody loves him and that he was the best artist. Essentially, a big ego museum.

[It also] plays a lot with the idea of the amateur, [and with] the idea of the outsider. Perhaps you know Facteur Cheval, who made the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval temple in France? It was inspired by a similar desire to create and leave something on the planet. I make art for this reason as well. I am motivated by thinking about what art is depending on who sees it. I am interested in the different emotions that it triggers.

The show seems to focus on the visitor’s role, too.

Yeah, totally. There are no walls and none of it is finished, so you have to finish the walls in your head. But a lot of my work in general, like any artwork, cannot exist without someone looking. I hope to engage visitors as contributors in order to re-imagine the space, so this opens up a lot of direct exchange.

In a way this makes your work quite vulnerable, a theme that’s also manifest in your 2015 film, “Into All That Is Here”. It’s a video that deconstructs basic human experiences through a combination of noise, imagery, and words.

I was trying to translate emotion, [as well as] the subconscious of my grandfather. I wanted to explore ideas of pleasure and anxiety. There was a lot of metamorphosis in this piece. Suddenly you are digging into this hole, and then assuming the view of an insect in a cocoon that comes out and wants to swallow everything it sees, and then slowly dies, consumed by consuming. It’s a comment on humanity and the way we consume images.


The specificity of your exhibitions also seems important. For instance, variations of your show at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, “And She Will Say: Hi Her, Ailleurs, to Higher Grounds…”, were also staged in Dijon and Frankfurt, but with slightly different ideas.

[The exhibition] is more like a narrative between three institutions. The theme was very much about ‘escaping’ in an abstract sense – [an] idea of having to let go of something and start something else. It was first [shown] in Dijon at Le Consortium, entitled “Dropped Here and Then, to Live, Leave it All Behind”. Then at the MMK in Frankfurt, [it was] called, “All behind, We’ll Go Deeper, Deep Down and She Will Say”, [where it went] really deep into the earth, sort of boiling over like a volcano. The exhibition design was slowly sliding up a path, taking you higher. In the end, you are kind of free from it all.

From the playful titles, to your grandfather’s fanciful background story, words are central to these works. Indeed, the idea that language frames our experiences – and visa versa – seems to be your central preoccupation.

I think you are right. It is close to some kind of poetry, but I am not trying to articulate and say, “This is what it is.” It is more like one possibility, one vision of one experience. I think that this is also the case with film. Film sort of competes with life. However, the sweat of my hand will never be the same in a show. How do you present so many elements in life? But film can also enhance. You can compress time, like a can of emotions. That is quite fascinating, but it doesn’t always work.

GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center“, at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan, until 9 April 2017