Between 1998-2005, I worked exclusively in the commissioning and producing of national touring exhibitions of British Artists’ Film and Moving Image work at the leading national agency for commissioning and touring artists moving image work Film and Video Umbrella, London.
Individual artist collaborations included national touring exhibitions by Turner prize nominees Isaac Julien, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Turner prize winner Mark Leckey, as well as exhibition projects with other leading talents including Johan Grimonprez, Mark Lewis and Janice Kerbel. Artists’ film has moved from the British art scene’s fringes into the limelight over the past decade. Moving image works are now shown in gallery and museum exhibitions across the country, and they have also been recognised by UK’s prestigious Turner Prize art award, with Elizabeth Price and Laure Prouvost being awarded for film works in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Since Film and Video Umbrella, I have curated and produced other moving image projects including an exhibition of work by 2013 Turner Prize winner, and 2011 Film London Jarman Award nominee, Laure Prouvost. The most recent an exhibition at Sallaumines | Maison de l’Art et de la Communication, France brought together key works by Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost unique oeuvre.
Language – in its broadest sense – permeates the video, sound, installation and performance work of Laure Prouvost. Known for her immersive and mixed-media installations that combine film and installation in humorous and idiosyncratic ways, Prouvost’s work addresses miscommunication and ideas becoming lost in translation. Playing with language as a tool for the imagination, Prouvost is interested in confounding linear narratives and expected associations among words, images and meaning. She combines existing and imagined personal memories with artistic and literary references to create complex film installations that muddy the distinction between fiction and reality. At once seductive and jarring, her approach to filmmaking employs layered storytelling, quick edits, montage and wordplay and is composed of a rich, tactile assortment of images, sounds, spoken and written phrases. The videos are often shown within immersive environments which comprise found objects, sculptures, painting and drawings, signs, furniture and architectural assemblages, that are rendered complicit within the overarching narrative of the installation.
The video is of a self-proclaimed curator of artists video works explaining what he sees as the role and function of video art, quoting Walter Benjamin along the way. His speech, though, is spliced and reworded so as to become almost incomprehensible. There are distracting jump-cuts to people in pools and farm animals, while the voiceover is humorously mis-subtitled: How can any film be an artwork, and how can any film not be an artwork? comes out as How may feeling a cow can always be in? Why he never felt like that when he kissed Madonna, even at work?”- Chris Fite-Wassilak, Frieze
Laure Prouvost parodies her own role as a director, and our role as an audience, as she directs attention to the screening space itself.
Winner of a Principal Prize at the 2010 Oberhausen Short Film Festival
It, Heat, Hit
It, Heat, Hit is a new work that constructs and propels an inferred story through a fast-moving sequence of written commentary and excerpts of everyday incidents and pictures that have been filmed by the artist. Innocent and pleasing images, such as a swimming frog or snowy street scene, are followed by statements of love and implied violence. These are inter-cut with strange, disconnected images, such as close-ups of flowers, body parts or food. The mood of the film gradually becomes darker and more unsettling, though nothing is stated directly. The growing intensity of the film is reinforced by the oppressive rhythm of a drum which accompanies snatches of music and speech.
As with Prouvost’s other films, the pace tests the limits of perception and makes it hard to take in every image and comment. Repeated viewing subtly shifts what is understood each time, as Prouvost highlights the slipperiness of meaning and notions of reality.
Laure Prouvost was born in Lille, France (1978) and is currently based in Antwerp. She received her BFA from Central St Martins, London in 2002 and studied towards her MFA at Goldsmiths College, London. She also took part in the LUX Associate Programme. Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘AM-BIG-YOU-US LEGSICON’, M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2018); BASS Museum, Miami, FL, USA (2018); ‘They Are Waiting for You’, Performance for stage at the McGuire Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2018); SALT Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland (2016); Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy (2016); Museum Für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt Am Main, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2016); Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2015); New Museum, New York, NY, USA (2014); Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico (2014); Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK and Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2013); ‘Laure Prouvost / Adam Chodzko’ as part of ‘Schwitters in Britain’, Tate Britain, London, UK (2013); The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2012); and Flat Time House, London, UK. In 2011, Prouvost won the MaxMara Art Prize for Women and was the recipient of the Turner Prize in 2013. Prouvost will represent France at the 58th International Art Biennial Venice in May 2019. June 2019 will see the artist’s first public commission in the UK through Transport for London’s Art on the Underground.
The exhibition was staged at Sallaumines | Maison de l’Art et de la Communication. Special thanks to Lux Artists’ Moving Image, Steve Cairns at ICA and MOT INTERNATIONAL and the staff at Sallaumines | Maison de l’Art et de la Communication, France.