Friday, February 14, 2014

Laure Prouvost at the New Museum

     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. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good description of the piece and nice personal input. I like the fact that you find a manifestation of a subconscious element in the installation. Most works that deal with the hyper-information of our time tend to be critical of it, but I found Prouvost's piece seductive because it was not just commenting on a situation, but it was creating a new world out of the fragmented reality we witness through mass media and cyberspace. I guess I personally would not call it a visualization of a subconscious state, but the fact that you did intrigues me.

  3. Very well written review, which addressed an overall insight of Laure Prouvost’s installation, “For Forgetting”. Your description is very thorough and insightful. The whimsical mural drawings, the unusual loud video, and the nooks within the space definitely gave off a sense of a surrealistic world. As I went from space to space it was quite a bizarre experience. I do agree with the idea of a subconscious state embodied in the installation, as well as your thoughts of the video being vague.

  4. The description of the work is clear, especially the second paragraph about the video which contains lots of details is quite vivid and impressive. If there is sth. more I hope to see, I hope to know more about the context of this work. Especially the last sentence, if u could add more analysis and details, it will be better.