For her first solo show in a Parisian institution, Laure Prouvost presents Ring, Sing and Drink for Trespassing; an exhibition manifesting as an escape that is both psychological and geographical. The Palais de Tokyo
has been transformed into a space where nature is purported to have taken over from humanity. Inspired by global warming, the exhibition invites us to explore and celebrate ambiguity by being at once intimate and expansive. Messages elsewhere spill over from the confines of the exhibition: IDEALLY THIS PLANT WOULD GROW BOOBS AND PRODUCE MILK or IDEALLY HERE WOULD BE A SMALL CRACK IN THE WALL YOU COULD PASS THROUGH in a demonstration of cognitive delinquency for both language and space.
Through these multiplying and concertinaing viewpoints, Ring, Sing and Drink for Trespassing operates as an ode to diagonal lines, the transcending of limits and the joy of slipping over a fence to discover a wasteland. Or, a now-abandoned but marvelous garden, in which the artist has discovered a forgotten dystopic biological laboratory.
Upending traditional conventions of exhibition access, a curved corridor covered in woven tapestries invites you to enter an unknown territory. This evolves into a metallic network of manufactured objects, interwoven with branches, car mirrors, raspberries, collages, newspaper clips and vases in the shapes of bottoms with flowers a first indication that nature is annexing the buildings architecture and that the outside world has lodged itself into the interstices of this place. At the center of the exhibition, a large fountain of breasts is waiting to feed you. This appears as a respite, a place where the viewer can reflect after discovering the atypical panoramas conceived by the artist. A new video work is also shown, which reflexively incorporates some of the physical elements present in the exhibition.
In Ring, Sing and Drink for Trespassing Laure Prouvost, more than presenting anthropomorphized objects, creates a cast of characters with whom you share the assembly. Characters with flat screen TV and mirror faces, branches with mammalian outgrowths or buttock implants and fruits and vegetables topped up with GMOs as well as other elements claim their agency via prosopopoeic means and become arbiters for the mechanisms of culture. Responding to these cues the viewer engages with these artworks with often humorous outcomes as they are exposed as the lead protagonist in the landscape of possible scenarios. Subsequently this immersive installation forces us to reconsider our viewpoints and our understanding of the world at large.
Laure Prouvost was born in Justelieu (France) in 1961, before moving to London, where she studied at Central Saint Martins College, then Goldsmith College. The winner of the Max Mara Art Prize in 2011 and of the Turner Prize in 2013, she now lives between London, Antwerp and a caravan in the Croatian desert.
Her work adopts the form of independent stories that intersect and answer to each other, in which fiction mixes with reality. These situations become immersive installations, inviting escapism, in a dialogue between films, sculptures, paintings, tapestries, performances or fragmentary tales, sometimes addressed directly at visitors. Generous and full of humour, her work examines the relationships between language, image and perception, placing the visitors in situations of doubt and incomprehension, but also a wonder which is both intellectual and sensoria.
The artist has had numerous solo exhibitions around the world, in particular recently: Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2017), Pirelli Hangar Bicocca (Milan, 2016), Fahrenheit (Los Angeles, 2016) or Haus der Kunst (Munich, 2015); but also in France at the Consortium (Dijon, 2016) and the Musée de Rochechouart (2015). Among the recent group shows she has taken part in, mention can be made of the 13th Baltic Triennial (Vilnius, 2018), Speak at the Serpentine Gallery (London, 2017), Practising habits of the day at the ICA (Singapore, 2016) or Hybridize or Disappear at the National Museum of Contemporary Art - Museu do Chiado (Lisbon, 2015).
Laure Prouvost is represented by the galleries Nathalie Obadia (Paris / Brussels), carlier | gebauer (Berlin) and Lisson Gallery (London / New York).
Curator: Daria de Beauvais
Exhibition designer: Diogo Passarinho