• Art of Inspiration

    • The French artist, Laure Prouvost, was the winner of this year’s Turner Prize, which came as a surprise both for critics and artists.

    Laure Prouvost, the unexpected winner of the 2013 Turner Prize / 

    The jurors of the Turner Prize, one of the most prestigious worldwide awards in the sphere of arts, have announced their current winner: the French artist, Laure Prouvost. She is known for multimedia pieces where she establishes a charming dialogue between the past and the present using technology and artistic reflections.

    The announcement came as a surprise because Prouvost was competing against artists like Tino Seghal and David Shrigley, who the critics preferred over the thirty-five year-old, London based French artist.

    Prouvost was awarded for Wantee and Friends, an installation/performance piece made in collaboration with Maria Benjamin and Chyamolonskas, who played the guitar. In broad terms, Wantee is an exploration into the oeuvre of Kurt Schwitters, a multifaceted German artist. Prouvost created a fictional grandfather who at time plays the role of the artist, while at others he performs as Schwitters' close friend. Using tea-time as a pretext (Wantee is the pet name Schwitters gave his partner because she constantly asked him: ‘Want tea?’), the Prouvost guided the audience through the German artist’s past, and her own.

    ‘How you might relate to the past and your own grandparents is real. That's why it touches people,’ said Penelope Curtis, the director of the Turner Prize jury and Tate Britain, in reference to Wantee. Following this same line, Curtis congratulated the French artist, saying her project was ‘unexpectedly moving,’ a ‘complex and courageous combination of images and objects in a deeply atmospheric environment.’

    On the other hand, in a press statement, the juror panel described the piece as follows:

    Building on personal memory, it [Wantee] weaves together fact, fiction, art history and modern technology. Using film in a completely contemporary way, Prouvost takes viewers to an inner world, while making reference to the streaming of images in a post-internet age.

    An additional and interesting fact is that this is first time two women have been given the Turner Prize in a row. In 2012, the winner was Elizabeth Price, whose work we also reviewed on Faena Aleph.

    In the end, this year’s Turner Prize award confirms the institution’s respect for the vanguard, its desire to pay attention, and to make others pay attention also, to artistic proposals that defy our usual conception of the world.

    ‘I think misunderstanding makes you use your imagination more’ stated Prouvost in a recent interview.

    Tagged: Laure Prouvost, Turner Prize, Turner Prize 2013, contemporary art