sat 20/07/2024

Turner Prize 2013: Laure Prouvost's work is visually seductive, funny and clever | reviews, news & interviews

Turner Prize 2013: Laure Prouvost's work is visually seductive, funny and clever

Turner Prize 2013: Laure Prouvost's work is visually seductive, funny and clever

This year, it was two women who made the most enduring impression

A still from Laure Prouvost's Turner-Prize nominated film 'Wantee'

According to one broadsheet, Laure Prouvost was a “rank outsider” and the money was on comic doodler David Shrigley and the elusive Tino Seghal, he of those ghastly, utterly patronising performances designed to jolt the guileless gallery-goer from his or her imagined complacence.

Her narratives are ambiguous, layered, unreliable, fragmented

Well, that’s news to me. For most who have seen the exhibition in Derry, it was the two women, Prouvost and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who made the most favourable and certainly the most enduring impression. And for me, Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings had the edge. Darkly lit, and painted with brio, they possess a quiet fury.

But, still, what’s not to like about Prouvost? Her work is sexy, sensual, funny – and she spins a shaggy-dog story with aplomb. For her Turner Prize display she's created an immersive exhibition that's replicated her installation for the Kurt Schwitters’ survey at Tate Britain: teapots, lots of wonky teapots, and junk sculpture that was supposedly created by her conceptual artist grandfather, an associate, apparently, of Schwitters, the German Dadaist who spent his last years in the Lake District making his collages and constructing his Merzbarn.

But, with their hallucinatory visuals and sexy, whispered voice-over and daft one-liners that actually do make you laugh, her films are the best thing. She has a powerful sense of narrative and she keeps you hooked. But there’s nothing straightforward about the way she tells a story – her narratives are ambiguous, layered, unreliable, fragmented. And although these are all the stylistic tropes you’ve come to expect from a modern-day story-teller, she tells it with joyful élan. You can watch her films again and again and remain intrigued. They’re clever, as well as visually seductive.

Fisun Guner on Twitter

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