28 September–10 December 2011
International Project Space presents The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) by Laure Prouvost, a newly commissioned film sequence and installation forming part of her ambitious feature-length film project The Wanderer. Comprising six narrative sequences, The Wanderer is based on script by artist Rory Macbeth who, without any knowledge of German, translated a Franz Kafka novella into English. The film follows a number of characters who undergo a series of increasingly bizarre and mysterious experiences, navigating various situations in which reality becomes increasingly uncertain.
Working for the first time with a full crew and a cast of actors, Prouvost used Macbeth’s text as a loose framework rather than a definitive script, opening up the narrative to the various shifts and slippages of language and direction introduced by filmmaking process. Where the first sequence of The Wanderer focuses on the notion of time, this second sequence focuses on the character Betty who, in a state of intoxication, delivers a rambling monologue directed alternately at peripheral characters within the film and us, the audience.
Prouvost’s work is characterised by her subversion of the narrative tropes of filmmaking. Drawing viewers into seemingly personal stories, heightened by Prouvost’s use of handheld cameras and whispered voiceovers, their truth status is quickly undermined by surrealist interjections of image and text which insistently challenge our ability to piece together all of these narrative elements.
In The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) Prouvost uses the state of drunkness as a way in which to destabilise the divide between the interior spaces of the mind and spaces of public projection, deliberately flaunting the social codes that moderate our speech and action in public. Betty’s acknowledgement of the audience, her manipulation of the camera’s movement and the deliberate de-syncing of image and sound throughout the sequence are employed as structuralist devices that draw attention to elements of its own construction. The film will be projected within a specially designed installation dominated by a tilted project screen, which will further emphasise a sense of disorientation.
Click HERE to download the exhibition booklet containing a new essay by Fionn Meade
The Wanderer is principally funded by an award from Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) and is commissioned by FLAMIN, Book Works and Spike Island with the support of the National Trust Treasurer’s House, York. The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) sequence is co-commissioned with International Project Space, and Art Exchange.
Laure Prouvost (b. 1978, Lille, France) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include before, before. before it was, the title sequence, spinning before next, a squid, MOT International (2011); All These Things Think Link, Flat Time House, London; Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain, London; Frieze Frame, Frieze Art Fair, London (all 2010). Recent group exhibitions include SUBJECTIVE PROJECTIONS, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Germany; Time Again, Sculpture Centre, New York; Department of Wrong Answers, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (all 2011).
With thanks to The Block
International Project Space is a non-profit centre for contemporary art situated on the Bournville campus of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. Drawing on its pedagogical context, IPS is committed to providing a space for experimentation and discussion, as well as exploring alternative modes of working and production.