GDM—Grand Dad’s Visitor Center is a handmade museum constructed by my grandmother in eloge of her artist husband, my granddad, long lost in a tunnel, his last conceptual piece." –Laure ProuvostPirelli HangarBicocca presents Laure Prouvost’s solo exhibition GDM—Grand Dad’s Visitor Center, one of her most ambitious projects: a Gesamtkunstwerk that incorporates syncopated videos, large-scale installations, light and sound, in an outpouring of images and words that stretch the boundaries of the imagination.The exhibition, curated by Roberta Tenconi, is conceived as a museum where viewers wander through the dreamlike spaces and disconcerting scenes of a handmade visitor center dedicated to the artist’s grandfather, a conceptual artist and a central figure in Laure Prouvost’s artistic practice. The structure of the Visitor Center is the result of an ongoing process in which architecture and content integrate with one another, providing an ironic take on the sensational museum buildings.GDM—Grand Dad’s Visitor Center unfolds through disorienting spaces and paradoxical settings: mirrored walls and surfaces, tilted and angular rooms, dark and twisting corridors, an area where tea is served and a karaoke zone.
The exhibition alternates images and written words, moments of contemplation and outbursts of euphoria, in an entrancing journey that draws visitors in and demands their total engagement.For this occasion Laure Prouvost presents over 15 works, including If It Was (2015), an ironic inquiry into the very meaning of museums, as places meant to preserve artworks for the future; The Artist (2010), where Prouvost introduces the figure of the grandfather into her work; the work which won the Turner Prize, Wantee (2013), from which the idea of the Visitor Center took shape; as well as The Wanderer (God First Hairdresser/Gossip Sequence), an installation that meticulously recreates the setting of a hair salon.Laure Prouvost’s work ranges between different systems of representation, alternating fiction, surreal, and an imaginary, dreamlike world with everyday life and human perceptions. Realized through drastic cuts and changes-of-scene, and edited using the artist’s voice as narration, Prouvost’s videos exasperate the techniques of amateur video making—immediate and captivating—detaching from a conventional narrative structure.
The artist’s imaginative exploration draws on ad slogans, musical hits, TV series and web platforms like YouTube, reflecting global contemporary culture. Recurring themes and motifs in Laure Prouvost’s work include the transformation and reversal of meanings, the adaptation of text into image, and the transposition of film into sculpture, as well as a deliberated disjointed communication generated by the translation and mistranslation of feelings, actions and languages.Through her works Laure Prouvost suggests and engages many of the visitor’s senses, such as smell and taste, working to broaden the imagination. Questioning stereotypes, Prouvost calls into question the role of the artist as well as the very idea of museum.
Pirelli Hangarbicocca, IT
Artwork by Laure Prouvost
Curated by Roberta Tenconi
Architectural Design by Diogo Passarinho
Project Leader: Diogo Passarinho
Team: Rita Freitas, Filipe Soares
Production Team: Ciaran Wood, Maud Gyssels, Eidotech
Exhibition dates: October 19,2016 - April 9, 2017
Photography: Agostina Ohio and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan
Catalogue: Mousse Publishing (Winter 2017)