The playful codes by Laure Prouvost in the French Pavilion

At the International Art Exhibition in Venice the winner of the Turner Prize leads the visitor through a journey made up of relics and new linguistic codes.

In the last ten years, as well as developing a wide-ranging symbolic vocabulary dedicated to the search for new relics (a term necessary to indicate objects that form part of a wider-ranging story) including street lights, tunnels, vagrants, teapots, giant tongues and an imaginary extended family of things, Laure Prouvost (1978, Croix) attributes specific meaning to many objects (flamingo means angry, nail brush means excited). To coincide with “Am-Big-You-Us Legsicon”, the most extensive solo exhibition every set up and currently at the M HKA in Antwerp, she even published a dictionary of her most commonly used concepts.

Even in the dewy spaces of the French pavilion in the Giardini, the exhibitive journey entitled Deep See Blue Surrounding You/ Vois Ce Bleu Profond Te Fondre modifies the progress of the voyage, the route followed to arrive at the 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice, with the intention of indicated another way. For the artist, winning the Turner Prize was a particular turning point for her identity. She was supported by France as one of the vanguard, while her Anglo-Saxon background continued to create marvellous connections within a scrambled cumulative practice.

Through transparent resins and imprecise relics from the seabed, the artist reflects on the fear of remaining blocked in the limbo of thought, of misunderstanding and mystification; extraneous to a foreign language, she rises victorious within a global community. For the Biennial, she has created a tapestry of a lettuce with the caption “We will tell you loads of salades on our way to Venice” (Raconter des salades means to tell tall tales in French). “I’m just a perroquet, parrot, pirate, pirate,” she muses now, slipping between the two languages playfully. Prouvost uses humour as a trap, a way to induce viewers to lower the barriers that separate sight from the subconscious. After Annette Messager and Sophie Calle, Prouvost is the third female artist in the French pavilion, “excited about creating a strong work for the imagination”, she sweetly claims.

Deep See Blue Surrounding You/Vois Ce Blue Profond Te Fondre
Artist :
Laure Prouvost
French Pavilion, Venice
Opening dates:
11 May - 24 November 2019
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