Laure Prouvost

Turner Prize Winner Laure Prouvost

February 9, 2022

Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost, who also represented her native France in the 2019 Venice Biennale, delves into the flaws and idiosyncrasies of language as starting point to create art that walks a fine line between what is and what is not, between fiction and reality, imagined or real. Through language, whether expressed or implied, written or painted, filmed or sung, Ms. Prouvost’s imagination runs wild, often in absurd and hilarious ways. Her work might best be enjoyed (and understood) with the words of her fellow countryman, François-Marie Arouet, in mind. Known better by his nom de plume, Voltaire, the internationally acclaimed 18th-century writer, historian, and philosopher—who also loved language and was a staunch advocate for free speech—once quipped: “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”  Because if we approach Ms. Prouvost’s The Person Behind Wants To Talk To You without the slightest bit of laughter or merriment billowing from within, we might wish to have our faculties checked. Especially if we turned around to see if anyone was actually standing behind us, yes, after reading it. —Gregory de la Haba