LAURE PROUVOST AT HANGAR BICOCCA, MILAN
The solo exhibition GDM - Gran Dad's Visitors Center by Laure Prouvost, is a Gesamtkunstwerk that brings together over fifteen works, including installations, videos and projections, sculptures and found objects: together, they form a personal museum dedicated to the artist’s grandfather, a place built in shifting layers, where architecture and content complete each other.
Winner of the Turner Prize in 2013, Prouvost weaves intricate tales full of surreal humor, in work that emulates the constant proliferation and consumption of images typifying the communication methods of our time. Laure Prouvost’s work ranges freely between different systems of representation, alternating fiction, nonsense, and an imaginary, dreamlike world with the concrete reality of everyday life and human perceptions.
GDM - Grand Dad’s Visitor Center is an exhibition that unfolds through disorienting spaces and paradoxical settings: a beauty parlor, mirrored walls and surfaces, tilted and angular rooms, dark and twisting corridors, an area where tea is served and a karaoke zone. The exhibition alternates light and sound, images and written words, moments of peaceful contemplation and outbursts of euphoria, in an entrancing journey that draws visitors in and demands their total engagement.
This project revolves around the story of Laure Prouvost’s grandfather, a prolific conceptual artist and close friend of famous German Dadaist Kurt Schwitters. After digging a long tunnel from his studio to Africa, he supposedly vanished into it one day for good, leaving his wife - Prouvost’s grandmother - as the sole guardian of his works. More specifically, the idea for the Visitor Center took shape in 2013 with the video installation Wantee, which includes several sculptures by this grandfather, now transformed into household objects, and shows her grandmother talking about the need to take care of them by creating this bizarre museum. The construction of the Visitor Center hints at a broader inquiry into the very meaning of museums, as places meant to preserve artworks for the future. In her videos, Prouvost plays with the lexicon of pop music, mass culture, and internet imagery. She employs a surfeit of images, incorporates text, and uses feverish editing to alter the normal flow of the narrative, while the presence of her own voice and the direct participation of the viewer - who is pulled into the thick of it and often invited to perform actions - eliminate the conventional distance between cinematic fiction and its audience.
Recurring themes and motifs in Laure Prouvost’s work include the transformation and reversal of meanings, the adaptation of text into image, and the transposition of film into sculpture, as well as the linguistic overlaps generated by the translation of French, her mother tongue, into English, the language she has picked up over almost two decades in London.
GDM - Grand Dad’s Visitor Center by Laure Prouvost
Curated by Roberta Tenconi
Hangar Bicocca, Milan
Through April 9