Laure Prouvost's installation For Forgetting occupies the fishbowl-like gallery space on the New Museum's ground floor. The piecemeal construction of raw 2x4s, collaged prints and text, video, and bits of this and that, give the impression that one has entered the makeshift home of a transient. The tone is purposefully casual and reminded me of the awkward posturing of an adolescent 'talking tough'. By parroting this tone she creates an oxymoronic clash of intention and apathy which causes a wonderful friction and strangeness throughout the space.
A shanty-esque construction houses a video and breaks up the work into three distinct sections. The jerky cuts and assembled images of the film are reminiscent of a manic dream. A husky woman's voice, thickly accented, promises great wealth and success over flashing captions and incongruous music. The video kindled a vague but powerful desire for some unknown product or service. It was as though I had been subliminally primed for some capitalistic campaign. This inexplicable want remained long after I moved on.
This work is full of humor, whimsy, irreverance and nebulous foreboding, Prouvost is scrapbooking with shreds of reality, imagination and tapping the subconscious. By so doing she is piloting a new surrealism, one adapted for all the complexities of the 21st century.