Laure Prouvost: It, Heat, Hit
September 15–October 26, 2015
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday noon–6pm
627 words by Stephen Squibb
The 627 words of this press release ask nothing of you. Don’t even read it. You’re reading it. Laure asked eight people to watch her video three or four times and respond. Maybe this is the ninth response. Maybe. The artist didn’t choose you herself but here you are.
If you don’t continue reading I’ll ask you to leave. We need you to read. You need to read to exist.
We found you in front of the screen with your legs falling asleep. It feels strange. Text spilling down. Screen so warm. You lick it. You lick the text up off the screen. Granddad could see better if he climbed a tree. But there are no trees in the rooms we sit in. No ladders. Just your attention. But now your leg is asleep. Tingles like bugs down your thigh. Climb a ladder and you’d only just hit the ceiling.
473 words left.
You’re already on the way to see her, reading fast, the leg still sleeps. Quick, behind you. Breathing quickly. Wait! It’s OK. The moment passes. The text continues. You were told this would happen. You read left to right. Not everyone does. Some people read right to left or top to bottom. You’re falling down the screen! You should stop smoking. You want to penetrate the text. Of course you’re in bed reading quietly. It smells like cleaning products. It’s too hot because we got angry and burned the images. The idea slips.
The text had to change there. Reformat. But you held on. Here you are. Still reading. “There is something in every description that can only be a trap.” He pushed the words in your face. All over your face. Licking the text off your face. Without strength, we tell you to stay. Stay, stay. You read on with us on your sleeping leg. The future comes closer. The future comes closer. I’m sorry it’s so crazy. You’re smelling the heat, feeling the look of the ideas. Behind you the text falls like rain down your back.
Here is where you wanted to be. You made it. Cool water around your ankles like a breeze. The sun, some green light called grass. Lay in the light and it prickles your leg like a holiday. This is so good. Sorry I was horrible. I’ll let you go. I see you aren’t with us anymore. We don’t like having you here as we talk. It’s like minimal art. Feels sickly and not right. The idea of sugar isn’t sweet. The concept of intelligence isn’t smart. We have to ask you to leave.
185 words left.
(It won’t even show up in the formatting.)
We ask you one thing: concentrate, and don’t forget these ideas below.
You’re always in the way. The men are looking for you. They saw the nose by your face. You throw idea five at them.
They’ve got your nose. Moving your nose on your face. Left to right. Right to left. We didn’t know you were still reading. They’re moving your nose left to right, left to right. You can’t see it. We’re not happy. Why did you read our press release? We want to be alone. We use some ideas to move your nose from top to bottom. (This was a special text we wrote for you. You’re so passive. Do something about it.) Should press releases be anonymous? This should have been anonymous. We don’t want you anymore. We push you off the edge of the screen. Careful. Can you move to the bottom of the screen please? Push you to the bottom. Push you to the edge. To the edge. Can you leave this
Laure Prouvost was born in 1978 in Croix-Lille, France. She lives and works in London, UK and Antwerp, Belgium. Solo exhibitions include For Forgetting at New Museum, New York (2014), From Wantee to Some Signs at Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp (2014); Laure Prouvost / Adam Chodzko at Tate Britain, London (2013); All These Things Think Link at Flat Time House, London (2010); It, Heat, Hit at Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain, London (2010). Group shows include The Great Acceleration at the Taipei Biennial (2014); Portraits d’Intérieurs at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; and Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008–2013 at Tate Britain, London (2013). Provoust received the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2011 and the Turner Prize in 2013.