Artist: Laure Provost
Venue: Haus der Kunst, Munich
Exhibition Title: DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT − Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst: We would be floating away from the dirty past
Date: November 27, 2015 – September 18, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Laure Prouvost, excerpt from If It Was, 2015, HD video, 8 min 52
Images courtesy of Haus der Kunst, Munich. Videos courtesy of the artist. Photos by Jens Weber.
The new commission in the series DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst, “We would be floating away from the dirty past” by Laure Prouvost engages directly with the middle hall’s architecture that lies right at the heart of Haus der Kunst. Upon entering Haus der Kunst’s vast Middle Hall one is immediately greeted by a metal figure mopping up dirt from the floor. Across its monitor head reads “We heard you coming,” and, “We have been waiting for you to arrive for so long,” as images of flowers, waves, and mops flash up before the viewer. Right behind this figure, the Hall’s red marble floor – the marble is often referred to as ‘blood sausage’ marble – gradually rises upwards; the tiles detaching themselves from the ground on which they lie.
Circumnavigating this new architectural feature reveals a cavernous and grubby space underneath the raised floor that can be entered. The viewer is invited to encounter more metal stick figures with virtual faces, variously reclining, sitting or lounging on a large carpet inside. These metal people are sensitive beings with feelings, one exclaiming at one point: “It warms my monitor head to know you came to see us.” The dusty looking carpet is a collage of images: old bicycles, tools or a shoe brush, for example, emerge from the dirty floor, as well as ghosts from previous projects and exhibitions that have taken place here, such as the first contribution to DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst by Haegue Yang (2012), or furniture arranged for a fashion show in the late 1950s. In this vortex of images rising up from the sediments of time, pink bottoms and breasts float across the carpet whilst texts – “so much happened here before you came” or “nothing is lost” – are inscribed on its filthy surface.
While the carpet conjures up times gone by, a video projection entitled “If It Was” is screened deep inside this underground space. This film muses on the museum itself and what it might become. As a montage of image and text continually interrupt each other, a voice-over speculates about what Haus der Kunst would be like if it was his or her institution: What if the angles of the building were all a bit softer? What if one could take the roof off and have palm trees inside? Would more people come if all the conceptual art was hidden in one corner?
Experienced together the different elements of “We would be floating away from the dirty past”, invites us to look underneath the shiny surfaces of the museum, into its forgotten past, and out to possible futures. As such Prouvost exposes the underside of the art institution, offering it up as a site for imagination.
Following contributions by Haegue Yang (2012/13), Manfred Pernice (2013/14) and Anri Sala (2014/15), it is the fourth presentation in the series DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst. The annual commissions are shown in the 800 square-meter hall and are realized with the generous support of Gesellschaft der Freunde.
Laure Prouvost (*1978 in Paris Raubaix, France) lives and works in London and Antwerp. She received the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013 and has exhibited internationally at renowned institutions such as Tate Britain (2010, 2011, 2013) and Whitechapel Gallery in London (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), Portikus in Frankfurt (2011), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin (2014), and New Museum in New York (2014). She has participated in international film festivals and won first prize twice at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2010, 2011).