press release

08.02.2019 - 19.05.2019

This exhibition will be the largest organised to date on the practice of artist Laure Prouvost. Offering a wide-angle panorama of Provoust’s career as – ranging from a key selection of her formative “monologue” video works, through to recent major installations – the exhibition will seek to portray the work of an artist developing complex thought through artistic languages. Taking a more acute direction, this museum survey will delve into the philosophical depths of Prouvost’s work, and will consider notions of language and communication, particularly of pre-verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as their incompatibility with the verbal.

The exhibition will present a substantial body of works by Prouvost, emphasising the web of ideas the artist develops for considering the complex state of mental life. Her practice has deep resonance to the significant contributions of mid-late 20th century psychoanalytical research. This includes the work of pioneers in Object Relations Theory, such as Melanie Klein and Anna Freud, considering intrinsic aspects of human intellectual and emotional development, as manifested through our relations to objects and the external world. Affinities can also be found with the work of Julia Kristeva, particularly her research on ‘abjection’ – the discomfort with encountering ambiguous things or situations – locating primordial conditions of the human subject at the breakdown of meaning located between the modernistic binaries of nature and culture, intuition and rationality. Prouvost’s work provides aesthetic and tangible embodiment of such ideas.

Including new works produced by the artist, the exhibition will be a total environment emphasising the experimental, layered and intuitive aspects of the artist’s practice to date. It will offer a key moment to reflect on the practice of somebody considered one of the most original artists of her generation. The artist was recipient of the Max Mara Prize in 2012 and the Turner Prize in 2013. In 2019, she will represent France at the 58th Biennale of Venice. Prouvost lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.

Exhibition curator: Nav Haq, Senior Curator, M HKA

A substantial publication will be published to accompany the exhibition, co-published by M HKA and Book Works. Titled LEGSICON the publication will function as a sort of dictionary, listing and expanding on the many key notions and symbols in Prouvost’s work.