Laure Prouvost Interview: Mother

Art makes us see that we are human, says French artist and Turner-prize winner Lauren Prouvost. In this video she reflects upon her installation Mother and the idea of motherhood. “It’s about anxiety and pleasure. About anger and extreme beauty.”

Lauren Prouvost conceived her work in connection with the exhibition Mother at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, in the spring 2021. “I have never done a piece around the theme of motherhood, but about the body, the female body, the body in the space. Many of my works are circling around values – what do we believe in, what do we pass on to your children? This is the intellectual dimension which is supplemented by the physical: giving birth, feeding, the harshness of arriving to this planet.”

While reflecting upon motherhood, Prouvost became interested in the octopus as s symbol. The animal protects it’s eggs and dies afterwards. Just like all mothers give their body, brains and senses for some years to their children “It’s two worlds mixing. A hybrid world. Mothers are always present – dominating and above you. They are a system of what is right and what is wrong. It’s about life. Giving life. Passing on knowledge and memories.”

Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost is known for her lush, immersive films and mixed-media installations. Interested in confounding linear narratives and expected associations among words, images, and meaning, she has said that in her works “fiction and reality get really tangled.” At once seductive and jarring, her films are composed of a rich, almost tactile assortment of pictures, sounds, and spoken and written phrases, which appear and disappear in quick, flashing cuts. These are often shown nestled into installations filled with a dizzying assortment of found objects, sculptures, paintings, drawings, furniture, signs, and architectural assemblages, based on the themes and imagery in her films. Prouvost does not allow for passive viewing. Through her work, she often addresses viewers directly, pulling them into her unruly, imaginative visions.

Laure Prouvost was born in Croix, an upscale suburb of Lille, France, in 1978 and attended a local school with a strong focus on art. She studied film and received her BFA from Central St Martins, London in 2002, where after she went on to study at Goldsmiths College, London, and took part in the LUX Associate Programme. After living and working in London for many years, she is currently based in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2011, Prouvost won the MaxMara Art Prize for Women and was the recipient of the renowned Turner Prize in 2013. She represented France at the 58th International Art Biennial Venice, May-November 2019 and was included in ‘NIRIN,’ the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020). Prouvost has had solo exhibitions at leading art-museums around the world. Her installation “Mother” was conceived in connection with the exhibition Mother at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark – read more here:

Laure Prouvost was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner during the installation of her work at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in January 2021.

Camera: Klaus Elmer

Edited by Klaus Elmer

Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner

Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021

Supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond.




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