“The image is kissing you. It licks you” intimates Laure Prou- vost in the renowned film Swallow from 2013. A voice-over in the amateur video Into all that is there (2015) whispers to the viewer, “Just follow me. Closer. We need to go deeper”. Laure Prouvost was born in Lille (France) in 1978, emigrated to Great Britain as a teenager and trained at Central Saint Martin in London. She worked as an assistant to conceptual artist John Latham, from whom she derives both the interest in the substance of the work of art, multi-material and not infrequently made with collage, together with the curiosity for its essentially performative aspect. Prouvost was only thirteen years old when Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web was made accessible, and like many artists of her generation she can be approached through the lenses of “post-in- ternet” artistic experimentation. There is, however, also a very in- teresting dimension in the way the French artist seems to rethink the performance practice, mainly by employing two elements. On the one hand, in her work there is the centrality of the image, more precisely the plastic quality of moving images, determining the sur- rounding environmental installation. On the other hand, Prouvost questions the Leib as a place of knowledge, Baumgarten would say, perceivable and sensitive. A knowledge that in her production appears structurally implicated in the ability of a body — human, veg- etable, zoomorphic or electronic — to experience pure sensations. Given such a centrality of the bodily element, it is not surpris- ing to find in Prouvost a significant interest in the artistic experiments and theories of the 1960s and 1970s. In the same years in which the publications on prehistory by Leroi-Gourhan and Laming-Emperaire were coming to light, in the seminal Expanded Cinema of 1970, Gene Youngblood discussed a “Paleocybernetic Age” that would dialogue with the “primitive potential associated with the Palaeolith- ic”. In an extensive reference to the primordial, the artist seems to participate in that form of “polymorphous eroticism”, subversive and alternative to the entertainment industry discussed by Youngblood. At the same time, Prouvost weaves a lively dialogue with the work of those female artists engaged since the second half of 1960s in the performative praxis and, more precisely, in the film restitution of the performance. It is a two-faced performative dimension, which relates as much to the acting body as to the agency of the technical medium arising from editing, sound and the manipulation of celluloid. From a historiographical perspective, this contribution shows how Prouvost’s video works intersect a plexus of perceptual strate- gies investigated in the 1990s, but dating back to the early 20th cen- tury, if not to prehistory. These include Ellen Dissanayake’s “Hands- on” competence, Gallese and Rizzolatti’s “embodied simulation”, Giuliana Bruno’s “site-seeing”, Laura U. Marks’ “haptic visuality” or kinaesthetic haptic perception discussed by Annette Michelson. Exploring in a sensual, ironic and highly interspecific manner the participatory experience that the viewer has of a body — or rather, of a variegated plexus of entangled bodies — acting on the screen, Prouvost creates a disorienting and layered proto- and post-cinematic narrative that, in dialogue with the present time, deeply questions its paradigms.

"Metafisica poetica”: un approccio sensoriale alla performance filmica nell’opera di Laure Prouvost / “Metafisica poetica”: A sensory approach to film performance in Laure Prouvost’s work, 2022-06-15.

"Metafisica poetica”: un approccio sensoriale alla performance filmica nell’opera di Laure Prouvost / “Metafisica poetica”: A sensory approach to film performance in Laure Prouvost’s work

Valentina Bartalesi
2022-06-15

Abstract

“The image is kissing you. It licks you” intimates Laure Prou- vost in the renowned film Swallow from 2013. A voice-over in the amateur video Into all that is there (2015) whispers to the viewer, “Just follow me. Closer. We need to go deeper”. Laure Prouvost was born in Lille (France) in 1978, emigrated to Great Britain as a teenager and trained at Central Saint Martin in London. She worked as an assistant to conceptual artist John Latham, from whom she derives both the interest in the substance of the work of art, multi-material and not infrequently made with collage, together with the curiosity for its essentially performative aspect. Prouvost was only thirteen years old when Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web was made accessible, and like many artists of her generation she can be approached through the lenses of “post-in- ternet” artistic experimentation. There is, however, also a very in- teresting dimension in the way the French artist seems to rethink the performance practice, mainly by employing two elements. On the one hand, in her work there is the centrality of the image, more precisely the plastic quality of moving images, determining the sur- rounding environmental installation. On the other hand, Prouvost questions the Leib as a place of knowledge, Baumgarten would say, perceivable and sensitive. A knowledge that in her production appears structurally implicated in the ability of a body — human, veg- etable, zoomorphic or electronic — to experience pure sensations. Given such a centrality of the bodily element, it is not surpris- ing to find in Prouvost a significant interest in the artistic experiments and theories of the 1960s and 1970s. In the same years in which the publications on prehistory by Leroi-Gourhan and Laming-Emperaire were coming to light, in the seminal Expanded Cinema of 1970, Gene Youngblood discussed a “Paleocybernetic Age” that would dialogue with the “primitive potential associated with the Palaeolith- ic”. In an extensive reference to the primordial, the artist seems to participate in that form of “polymorphous eroticism”, subversive and alternative to the entertainment industry discussed by Youngblood. At the same time, Prouvost weaves a lively dialogue with the work of those female artists engaged since the second half of 1960s in the performative praxis and, more precisely, in the film restitution of the performance. It is a two-faced performative dimension, which relates as much to the acting body as to the agency of the technical medium arising from editing, sound and the manipulation of celluloid. From a historiographical perspective, this contribution shows how Prouvost’s video works intersect a plexus of perceptual strate- gies investigated in the 1990s, but dating back to the early 20th cen- tury, if not to prehistory. These include Ellen Dissanayake’s “Hands- on” competence, Gallese and Rizzolatti’s “embodied simulation”, Giuliana Bruno’s “site-seeing”, Laura U. Marks’ “haptic visuality” or kinaesthetic haptic perception discussed by Annette Michelson. Exploring in a sensual, ironic and highly interspecific manner the participatory experience that the viewer has of a body — or rather, of a variegated plexus of entangled bodies — acting on the screen, Prouvost creates a disorienting and layered proto- and post-cinematic narrative that, in dialogue with the present time, deeply questions its paradigms.
"Metafisica poetica”: un approccio sensoriale alla performance filmica nell’opera di Laure Prouvost / “Metafisica poetica”: A sensory approach to film performance in Laure Prouvost’s work, 2022-06-15.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10808/47413
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