For her inaugural New York exhibition, Laure Prouvost presents an immersive installation. The gallery space is transformed into a subterranean travel agency, (DEEP TRAVEL Ink, 2016) with ambiguous function, purported to belong to the artist’s uncle.
First shown at MMK Frankfurt in 2016 and reconfigured for the exhibition, this hypnagogic environment, replete with watercoolers, plants, posters, people working at desks, as well as a waiting area and corporate infomercial, conflates time and space, compounding the quasi-authenticity of the scene and pseudo-legitimacy of the proposition.
The sound of a tranquil voice emanates from the DEEP TRAVEL Ink’s company infomercial, positioned behind the reception area. “Imagine yourself there floating in the water…WE WILL TAKE YOU JUST A BIT DEAPER…WE WILL TAKE YOU JUST A BIT FURVER…get the mud off your shoes.” This video is latticed with images of scorching beaches framed by palm trees, clouds bursting, stunning sunsets, squids skating on water and aspirational images of holiday homes. Combined, they coax the viewer into a wilful contemplation of escape. They are cognitively transportative whilst also offering a rational means by which to explore the installation. Travelling deeper and further into its belly, where more works can be uncovered, a concrete or psychic destination remains tantalisingly uncertain.
This discovery bears witness to familiar tropes of Laure’s practice. Two film installations, alongside paintings and sculptural elements, combine under the heavy, influencing force of the travel agency. The anthropomorphic potential of objects is subjected to this specific context. In this exhibition, the objects and images that inhabit Laure’s films and installations demonstrate an awareness of their own purpose and function with humorous consequence. They can embody the role of a lead protagonist or simply jostle for attention among other voices and forms, further interrupting and complicating the delivery of narrative. Disavowed of a body, breasts reclaim their agency by clearly stating their intentions. Disembodied, yet with a voice, a function and a personality, they cause havoc in the real world, running amok among the serious business of making the necessary arrangements for travel.