French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019: Laure Prouvost

Venice Biennale 2019

Laure Prouvost
Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois Ce Bleu Profond Te Fondre
May 11–November 24, 2019

Pre-opening: May 8–10

French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Curator: Martha Kirszenbaum

For her project for the French Pavilion, Laure Prouvost has imagined a liquid and tentacular environment, questioning who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Tinged with utopia and surrealism, the project discloses an escapist journey, both tangible and imaginary, towards an ideal elsewhere. The exhibition takes the form of an invitation to melt into the different unveiled and shared realities intermingling here, and challenges the representation of a fluid and globalized world, made of exchanges, connectivity, and discrepancies.

In the continuation of her artistic practice, which intertwines representations of desire, oneirism, and a fantasized description of nature, Laure Prouvost focuses on language, word play, and translation. The attention given to her environment and to the natural and human elements that surround her calls to mind the immersive quality of her films, installations, objects, drawings, and tapestries. The contexts of Venice—a floating city built on water and by water, a city of facade and backstage—and of the Biennale, through the notion of representation, both appear as sources of inspiration.

The cornerstone of Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois Ce Bleu Profond Te Fondre is a fictional film. It takes the form of an initiatory journey filmed over the course of a road trip on horseback through France—from the Parisian suburbs to the northern region, from the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval to the Mediterranean Sea—and, finally, to Venice. A sculptural installation, taking as a metaphorical point the trajectory of the octopus goes beyond the film, transcending out of the realms of the Pavilion and beyond. It uses typical processes of the artist’s practice such as leftover objects from the film, resin, clay, glass, plants or water vapor, and features performances interacting with the architecture and the objects. Lâchons les chevaux Et avec vous on tombera des nues.

A monograph published with Flammarion accompanies the exhibition, taking the form of an atlas exploring and deepening Laure Prouvost’s artistic practice. Writers include: Ahu Antmen, Andrew Berardini, Yang Beichen, Massimiliano Gioni, Martha Kirszenbaum, Dean Kissick, Annabelle Ténèze.

The French Pavilion is produced by Institut français, in close collaboration with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign affairs and the Ministry of Culture. The executive production is managed by ARTER.

With the support of CHANEL Fund for Women in the Arts and Culture.

And in partnership with ARTER, La Fondation des Artistes; Les Abattoirs, Musée – FRAC Occitanie Toulouse; LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut; Dunes Productions; Cité internationale des arts; Galerie Nathalie Obadia; carlier | gebauer; Lisson Gallery; The Art Newspaper France.

Laure Prouvost was born in Profond near Hauterive. She now lives in her “deep see blue” caravan galloping towards Venice. Along the way, she will through herself in the air, through the cracks of the waves. Fallen from the nudes 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, and received the Max Mara Art Prize for Women (2011). She was awarded the Turner Prize (2013). Major solo exhibitions include: AM-BIG-YOU-US LEGSICON at MUHKA, Antwerp (2019); Ring, Sing and Drink for Trespassing at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing (2016); Haus Der Kunst, Munich (2015); New Museum, New York (2014) to name a few. Laure Prouvost is represented by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, carlier | gebauer, Lisson Gallery.

Martha Kirszenbaum was born in Vitry-sur-Seine (France) in 1983. She is a curator and writer based in Paris and Los Angeles. She graduated from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York. She founded and directed Fahrenheit by FLAX in Los Angeles, and previously worked at the New Museum and MoMA in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She has organised exhibitions, screenings, performances and talks at renowned international institutions, and contributed to several publications and art magazines.

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