If the final meaning of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ work is constructed by the viewer, the exact opposite can be said of Laure Prouvost’s work.
Laure Prouvost (1978) is a French artist who studied film at Central Saint Martins and attended Goldsmiths and won the 2013 Turner Prize. Her work is an astonishing stimulation of the senses. She brings video, sound, objects, and installations into play, all at once. Her art is something you experience, you just let it happen while an inescapable Prouvost directly addresses you and firmly pulls you into her flight of imagination. It’s full blast surrealism.
Roland Barthes wrote in the late ’60s about the presumed “Death of the Author”. He argues that a text is a construction of different writings, drawn from many cultures and it enters into mutual relations of dialogue. The place where this comes together is the place of the reader. So, the authority in terms of the construction of meaning does not reside in the intentions of the writer. Rather, the meaning is consistently derived from different writings, drawn from many cultures and therefore it is understood as something open to constant reinterpretation dependent on the reader. This casualty is embraced by different artists. Felix Gonzalez-Torres is a great example, as he says “I need a viewer. I need a public for that work to exist […] without a public this work has no meaning. […] This work is about an interaction with the public, or a large collaboration.” Barthes surely did not meet Prouvost when writing his essay, as New York Times art critic Martha Schwendener has stated: “Suddenly the liberated reader proposed by Barthes in essays like “The Death of the Author” (1967) is banished, and Ms. Prouvost reminds you who’s really in charge of the artwork.”
At the High Line, she is currently presenting six of her works. So, that means you can see/experience her work for free. But make sure that you go today or tomorrow because it’s only on view until the 27th.
Finger Point Green (2011), It, Hit, Heat (2010), How To Make Money Religiously (2014), Grandma’s Dream (2013), For a Better Life (2006) and a new work part of the series “Metal Men” titled Monitor Head (2017).
Laure Prouvost: In-her-dreams High Line, daily from 7 pm – 11 pm
For a little taste of her work click here