Laure Prouvost: Don’t Look Up

Posted by | Jessica Bardsley | Posted on | February 24, 2012

March 1, 6:00 p.m. | Introduction and post-screening discussion with Laure Prouvost via Skype!

Laure Prouvost, Monolog (2009). Courtesy the artist and MOT International.

The brilliantly anarchic videos of Laure Prouvost run wild with the rules of narrative and language. Prouvost’s fast-paced works often feature surreal tales jarringly interrupted by self-conscious text, unsettling imagery, or the artist herself undermining and adding new meaning to the original story. This evening Prouvost, who is also the founder and former director of, will present her own videos alongside a selection of contemporary and historical works by other artists, including John Latham and Owen Land. 1968–2012, Multiple directors, France/Italy/UK/USA, Various formats, ca 90 minutes + discussion.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, artist Laure Prouvost will be joining us live via Skype for audience discussion rather than in person. We apologize for any inconvenience (but hope you can still join us!).


It, Heat, Hit (Laure Prouvost, 2010, color, sound, video, 6 min)
Monolog (Laure Prouvost, 2009, color, sound, video, 12 min)
The Artist (Laure Prouvost, 2010, color, sound, video, 10 min)
Burrow Me (Laure Prouvost, 2009, color, sound, video, 13 min)
Wide Angle Saxon (Owen Land, 1975, 16mm, color, sound, 22 min)
Speak (John Latham, 1962, color, sound, 16mm, 10 min)
Associations (John Smith, 1975, color, sound, 16mm, 7 min)


*Subject to change

LAURE PROUVOST (b. 1978, Croix-Lille, France) graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Arts in 2002, and in 2009 she completed the LUX Artist Associate Programme. Her work, which includes painting, video, sound, and site-specific work, has been exhibited widely in exhibitions and screenings, most recently at the 2011 Frieze Art Fair; Tate Britain; Sculpture Center, New York; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; BFI, London; EAST International, Norwich; MOT Gallery, London; Guangzhou Triennial; and St Gervais Centre, Geneva.  From 2003-2009, she was the director of, an online platform for artists’ work in moving images. Prouvost is also the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the 2009 EAST International Award 2009, the 2010 and 2011 Short Film Principle Prize from the Oberhausen Film Festival, the 2011 Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network award (FLAMIN) in 2011, and most recently, the 2011 Max Mara Art Prize For Women.

OWEN LAND, formerly known as George Landow, was one of the most original and celebrated American filmmakers of the 1960s and 1970s. The works he made during this period fused an intellectual sense of reason with the irreverent wit that distances them from the supposedly ‘boring’ world of avant-garde cinema. His early materialist works anticipated Structural Film, the definition of which provoked his rejection of film theory and convention. (Mark Webber)

JOHN LATHAM was born in Rhodesia in 1921. He studied at Chelsea School of Art and taught at St Martins School of Art, London. He founded the Artists Placement Group (APG) in 1968. Latham’s filmmaking began as a means of recording the evolution of his bookworks Unedited Material From Star 1960, but developed to embrace collaborative works with the Event Structure Research Group, abstract animation in the 1960s, and works made for television in the 1990s.

JOHN SMITH was born in London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art. Since 1972 he has made over 40 film, video and installations works. His films have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world and awarded major prizes at film festivals in Leipzig, Oberhausen, Hamburg, Cork, Geneva, Palermo, Graz, Uppsala, Bangkok, Ann Arbor and Chicago. One-person presentations of his work include exhibitions at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Pearl Gallery (London), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (Germany) and retrospectives at the Venice Biennale and Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Regensburg and Winterthur international film festivals. John Smith is Professor of Fine Art at the University of East London. “The films of John Smith conduct a serious investigation into the combination of sound and image, but with a sense of humour that reaches out beyond the traditional avant-garde audience. His films move between narrative and absurdity, constantly undermining the traditional relationship between the visual and the aural. By blurring the perceived boundaries of experimental film, fiction, and documentary, Smith never delivers what he has led the spectator to expect.” (Mark Webber, Leeds International Film Festival, 2000)


Laure Prouvost

Colin Perry on Laure Prouvost in Frieze


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    Conversations at the Edge is a weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists.


    CATE is organized by SAIC's Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and SAIC's Video Data Bank, Conversations at the Edge is a dynamic weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists.


    Programs take place Thursdays at 6pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State / Chicago, IL / 312.846.2600), unless otherwise noted.