Laure Prouvost: Monolog
A deliberately chaotic exhibition filled with the artist's characteristically whimsical works
This article is from 2016.
Typically, the Turner Prize-winning French-born artist has produced a playful, seemingly whimsical exhibition that goes all out to disrupt our relationship with modes of communication, be it verbal, written or otherwise.
The artworks, which demonstrate Prouvost's usual tropes and techniques, are set out across four adjoining intimate spaces; spaces perfect for getting up close and personal with unhinged but equally mesmerising works.
Stressful noises and undecipherable words collide and compete across gallery walls. Most artists would avoid this confusion, but you suspect Prouvost anticipated and welcomed this chaos. Her work debunks our fixed understanding of information so that the systems on which we rely disintegrate under scrutiny. In one video the word 'deeper' becomes silly and ungraspable as she incessantly whispers the word with the seductive appeal of a perfume advert.
Prouvost likes to exaggerate the physical presence of television screens, preferring to use boxy monitors with a slightly fuzzy, bleeding visual quality. For Monolog she pushes the 'thingness' of these monitors by having them perch precariously on spindly metal legs. She's done this before, but here she's pushed this further with monitors variously looming and crouching. One work in particular forces us to peer up as if it were an alien spacecraft sucking us upwards. The spiraling motifs and sinister, urgent sounds enforce this sensation. An outlandish analogy perhaps, but Prouvost would probably enjoy it.
Summerhall, 560 1580, 4 Aug–30 Sep, free.