Artist Laure Prouvost is primarily interested in translation, misinterpretation and linguistic misdirection. It is not only the challenges that translation presents, but also the possibilities it engenders, which provides fertile ground for the artist’s practice. Provoust’s sculptures and installations have an intentionally rough anti-aesthetic and she works across many media, including moving image, installation, signs and performance. Characterised, regularly, by an apparent absence of reason, conventional logic and/or narrative, her moving image works play games based on semantic and semiotic theory.
Provoust’s film The Artist splices close up sequences of her hand pointing and her fingers clicking, miscellaneous details from her studio, moments when the screen flashes with bright colours, textual inserts and an audio track comprised of animal noises and voice overs. The result is playful, disorientating and indicative of her riotous approach to the medium.
The Wanderer, a six-part film, is an adaptation of British artist Rory Macbeth’s eponymous novel, written in 2009, itself a mistranslation of The Metamorphosis (1915). Macbeth translated, or interpreted, Franz Kafka’s novella with little knowledge of German and without a dictionary. Provost’s ensemble creates a narrative at yet another remove from the original text. In each individual sequence the main protagonist undergoes increasingly bizarre events or experiences in which reality is disrupted and called in to question.
Laure Prouvost was born in Lille, France and works in London. Her work has featured in solo exhibitions including Art Now Lightbox at Tate Britain, London (2010), Frieze Frame at Frieze Art Fair, London (2010) and Burrow Me at Lighthouse, Brighton (2009). Provost was the winner of the Principle Prize at the 2011 Oberhausen Short Film Festival as well as well as being the 2011 Winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women.
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Image: Laure Prouvost, The Artist, 2010, video and mixed media installation, video 10 minutes. Courtesy of the MOT International