Laure Prouvost: Screening and Conversation

Laure Prouvost: Screening and Conversation

Laure Prouvost: Screening and Conversation

Admission starts at $5

September 5, 2023, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, September 5 at 7pm for a retrospective screening of selected works by Laure Prouvost. The screening will be followed by a conversation between the artist and writer-curator Kathy Noble.

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 weave in film 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 works 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, and spoken and written phrases. 

The screening at e-flux will feature a selection of recent and earlier works by the artist spanning the last decade: Finger Point Green (2010, 3 minutes), Swallow (2013, 12 minutes), Into All That Is Here (2015, 9 minutes), Lick in the Past (2016, 8 minutes), OMA JE (You, My, Omma, Mama, Shadow Does, and A Walking Story) (2023, 22 minutes), and Every Sunday, Grandma (2022, 7 minutes).


Finger Point Green (2010, 3 minutes)
In Finger Point Green, the artist bats away a pesky tree branch in the way of her pointing “there, over there” to a nondescript patch of grass that may just stand for the act of pointing itself.

Swallow (2013, 12 minutes)
Inspired by the aesthetic and sensuous pleasures of Italy and referencing the genre of panoramic painting, Swallow shows fragments of footage, from birds to women bathing in waterfalls. Exploring language and translation, Prouvost plays on the historic idea of visiting the Mediterranean for inspiration.

Into All That Is Here (2015, 9 minutes)
Into All That Is Here explores the notion of lust after times of darkness. Within her film, the artist will continue the exploration of themes addressed in Wantee (2013), a story linked to her grandfather. This time, she focuses on digging into the subconscious of this character, deep into his fantasies, as an insect or bird is attracted to the pollen of a flower and when there by the flower indulge its with pleasure. The video depicts a warm and slimy atmosphere and a sensation of relief after long search of darkness, giving the impression to the visitor that they have just penetrated a slimy, sweaty flower, till the image burns and disappear…

Lick in the Past (2016, 8 minutes)
Lick In The Past was filmed around Los Angeles and cast with adolescent Angelinos. The film tracks these characters in playful, wistful conversation in and around their car. They speak of their fantasies of comfort and connection and invoke dreamlike scenarios. Lick In The Past is a partner film to Prouvost’s We Will Go Far (2015) and themes of youth, freedom, and desire are mirrored between the two. Pastoral images of farm animals and French countryside are sound tracked by a seductive French narrative, and contrasted with the urban escapism of L.A. road trips. The film is accompanied by an original hip-hop track composed by L.A. based producer WYNN.

OMA JE (You, My, Omma, MamaShadow Does, and A Walking Story) (2023, 22 minutes)
Shot near Marseille in a grotto overlooking the Mediterranean, the first film in the trilogy OMA JE, titled You, My, Omma, Mama, depicts a journey through space and time in search of our grandmothers and connections to our past, towards the history of the future. The world Prouvost invents here might perhaps originate with the 11 cm figurine known as the Venus of Willendorf, as great-grandmother of us all. The artist borrows the story of this stone-age sculpture, reinterpreting and interweaving contextual motifs. Among the many interpretations that fascinate Prouvost is one whereby the figurine, named Venus by her finder, might not be a fertility symbol but rather a representation of a wise grandmother. Scientific testing has established that the figurine travelled a long way to the place where she was found. This is important, as is the discovery of more than 130 similar figures across Europe. The third film in the trilogy, A Walking Story, imagines an expansive genealogy of ancestors: Who might the “130 sisters” be for us today? A sisterly group of women moves across the screen to pass on their stories and those of their ancestors, and to immortalize them. The lines continue, becoming a long list that juxtaposes various personalities in an abstracted way. Together with cross-generational, interdisciplinary intellectual, political, and artistic role models or “grandmothers” like Joan Jonas and Laurie Anderson, the artist invokes informally—by first name—personal relatives of the performers and women from within her own milieu. The second film, Shadow Does, is a shadow game that shows the world through the eyes of a little girl and tells about the objects around her in her daily life, reflecting on how rapidly our habits are changing.

Every Sunday, Grandma (2022, 7 minutes)
Grandma grows a pair of wings and transforms into a human bird. She steps out of the darkness of a tunnel into a desolate misty landscape. She is above clouds, floating into where birds soar above ground as bodies in levitation. The video tickles our senses and emotions towards losing our sense of gravity.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.       
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.                
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Feminism, Sexuality & Eroticism, Language & Linguistics
Video Art

Laure Prouvost (b. 1867, Lieumeconu, France) lives and works. Here a long list of museums and institutions. A line, interesting things, a coma, a line, a list of residencies and prizes. A selection of solo projects including: an Oma-je in Vienna, a flying Grandma in Oslo, Esmé Blue in Busan, Helsinki, and Madrid, an elastic arm hold in tight in Copenhagen, a Swallowing and Breathing in Eindhoven, a Smoking Mother in Copenhagen, a Melting Into Another in Lisbon and Sonsbeek, an Occupied Paradise in Aalst, Deep See Blue Surrounding You in Venice, Toulouse, and Lille, a Waiting Room with objects in Minneapolis, a New Museum for Granddad in Milano, a tearoom for Grandma in Derry, a karaoke room in Brussels, a new octopus ink vodka bar for Gregor in Rotterdam, A travel agency for an Uncle in Frankfurt, a lobby for love among the artists in the Hague and Luzern… tea bags, and wet floors and tentacules.

Kathy Noble is a curator and writer based in New York, currently working as Senior Curator at Performa. There she previously served as Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial Affairs to oversee the program and curated numerous commissions including Ed Atkins, Kevin Beasley, Ericka Beckman, Kia LaBeija, Paul Pfeiffer, Yvonne Rainer, Bunny Rogers, Tschabalala Self, and Samson Young. As Curator, Interdisciplinary, at Tate Modern she co-curated Tate Modern Live, The Long Weekend Festival, and Art in Action, the first program in The Tanks spaces, including Ei Arakawa, Tania Bruguera, Anthea Hamilton, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Sung Hwan Kim, Rabih Mroué and Hito Steyerl, Haegue Yang, and Suzanne Lacy. In 2016 she launched the inaugural Art Night festival with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, presenting ten site-specific projects at venues across Westminster including Koo Jeong A, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Joan Jonas and Jason Moran, Laure Prouvost, and Xu Zhen/MadeIn Company. She has published numerous essays in books and magazines such as Artforum, frieze, and Mousse Magazine.

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