LAZNIA 1 2017 - Wot hit talk / Laure Prouvost
10.03.2017 - 30.04.2017
Opening: 10.03.2017, at 6 p.m., Panel discussion: 10.03.2017, at 7 p.m.
Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, ul. Jaskółcza 1, 80-767, Gdansk, Poland
Curator: Jolanta Woszczenko
Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art will present an exhibition of works by Laure Prouvost, who received one of the most important artistic recognitions – the Turner’s Prize awarded by Tate Britain. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in Poland.
A discussion panel with the artist, Gareth Bell-Jones and Tomasz Swoboda will follow the exhibition opening.
What is the relation between language and reality? Where does one draw the line between truth and fiction? Can we fully represent our sensations using language and the visual sphere? Laure Prouvost juxtaposes text with image to create surrealist narratives, providing new contexts for words and images. In her work, she also attempts to transgress the borders between the visual and the sensual through language. Using narrative traditions and oral culture on film, she creates vivid stories filled with humour. Her works test to see what will happen if the sentences and words contain typos or slips of the tongue, or even an intentional half-truth or over-interpretation. As the artist claims, “reality is never exactly what we dream of, it surprises us in good and bad ways. People wish for things to be better than they are in reality. Imagination can give us what we want.” Prouvost allows us also to dream and reach higher. 
The exhibition will include installations, objects, as well as paintings and videos, among them “Heat hit it”, which consists of quickly alternating sequences of everyday life situations as observed by the artist. The sequences are interrupted by picturesque stills that are followed by unrelated quirky shots. As the film progresses, its mood becomes more and more alarming. Just like in her other films, Prouvost demonstrates the ambiguity of meaning and the understanding of reality.
Laure Prouvost creates films, installations and performances. Her works have been exhibited, among others, in Tate Britain, ICA, Serpentine, BFI Galleries and at the Lyon Biennale. Her films were screened at many international festivals, for instance at the Oberhausen, where she won the main prize twice.
In 2011 Provoust won the first edition of the Max Mara Art Prize awarded by the Whitechapel Gallery. Also in 2011 she was selected for the Frieze Projects, and for the Frieze Frame the year before that. In 2013 she was nominated to the Turner Award for the exhibition FarFromWords at the Whitechapel Gallery and for the piece Wantee. She is most known for her video art characterised by surprising plots and absurd humour.
The exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk will be its first individual presentation of the work in Poland.
Panel discussion:
Gareth Bell-Jones (b. 1982) is the director/curator of Flat Time House, a gallery, education space and archive in the former home of post-war conceptual artist John Latham. After graduating from the MA in Curating Contemporary Art at the RCA in 2010, he worked as curator for Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, for four and a half years. There he curated residencies, exhibitions, retreats, events, publications and an annual music festival with artists such as Ed Atkins, Michael Dean, Gustav Metzger, Elizabeth Price, Keren Cytter and Cally Spooner, to name a few. From 2010–14 he was a regular visiting tutor to the RCA, Curating Contemporary Art Department. Previously he was the curator of Tricycle Gallery, London, from 2007–09. He regularly writes catalogue and exhibition texts for artists which include Laure Prouvost, Marlie Mul, Barbara Visser and Agata Madejska.
Tomasz Swoboda (b. 1977) is the author of books To jeszcze nie koniec? [Is this not the end yet?] (Gdańsk 2009), Historie oka. Bataille, Leiris, Artaud, Blanchot [Stories of the eye. Bataille, Leiris, Artaud, Blanchot] (Gdańsk 2010), Histoires de l’œil (Amsterdam – New York 2013) and Powtórzenie i różnica. Szkice z krytyki przekładu [Repetition and difference. Sketches in translation criticism] (Gdańsk 2014). He is the holder of the Literatura na Świecie translation award and the Andrzej Siemek Award for Historie oka. Swoboda translated into Polish works by such authors as Baudelaire, Nerval, Nadar, Bataille, Leiris, Sartre, Barthes, Ricoeur, Derrida, Foucault, Caillois, Starobinski, Poulet, Richard, Vovelle, Didi-Huberman, Le Corbusier and Krystyna Szwedzka, and is a grant-holder of Centre National du Livre. He works at the Faculty of Philology, University of Gdańsk – since 2016 also in the capacity of Deputy Dean for Education. In his free time, he creates experimental music with the band Columbus Duo. He lives in a tower block with his wife, children and cat.
Organization of the panel was supported by the British Council in Warsaw.
Documentation made by Anna Domańska
Municipal Institution of Culture