Laure Prouvost

Born 1978 in Lille, France

Lives and works in Brussels and London

A central theme uniting the dynamic artistic practice of Laure Prouvost – encompassing films, sculpture, sound, performance, site-specific and immersive installation – is language and communication, and thus, by extension, the inherent and imaginative possibilities of fictions and falsehoods; deviations and slippages; as well as translation and the transference of meaning between and across cultures.

Recent major solo exhibitions of Prouvost’s work have been held at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2021); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2020); M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2017); and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2016). Prouvost represented France at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, was the recipient of the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013, and won the MaxMara Art Prize for Women in 2011.



Lick in The Past, 2016
HD video
stereo sound
8:25 mins

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels

Originally commissioned by Fahrenheit/FLAX Foundation, Laure Prouvost’s Lick in The Past (2016) is the outcome of a residency undertaken by the French artist in Los Angeles in 2015. Employing tropes of Hollywood cinema, and embracing clichés of Los Angeles as a city, Lick in The Past is a mediation on life in the metropolis, in which a group of self-aware yet wistful young Americans fantasise about escape.

Filmed in downtown Los Angeles, Lick in The Past is evocative of the sights, smells and sounds of the city, depicting iconic imagery – largely shot through a car window – of palm trees against blazing sunsets, the concrete bed of the Los Angeles river, and gridlocked freeways. Developed as a companion work to Prouvost’s earlier film We Will Go Far (2015), which depicted the lives of adolescents in the idyllic French countryside,Lick in The Past elaborates upon themes of freedom, desire and coming of age, delivered as an ambiguous, dreamlike and non-linear narrative. Lick in The Past is accompanied by an original hip-hop track composed by LA-based producer WYNN – here also serving as a soundtrack for the broader exhibition.