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French Artist Laure Prouvost Wins Turner Prize

Laure Prouvost has been awarded the UK’s most prestigious arts award, the Turner Prize, for her work Wantee. Prouvost was an unexpected choice for the £25,000 prize, which is awarded annually to British artists under 50. Prouvost, 35, is from Croix, near Lille, France, but has resided in the UK since attending Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins in London. 

Wantee was first commissioned as part of a Tate Britain Kurt Schwitters exhibition. The work's title is a nod to Schwitter’s companion, Edith Thomas, who was known for asking “Want tea?” Prouvost incorporates a personal dimension, inserting fictionalized biographies of her grandparents into the artistic and social lives of Schwitters and Thomas. The film installation piece explores the role of technology in our relationship to the past.

The judges for the Turner Prize described Prouvost’s Wantee as a “complex and courageous combination of images and objects in a deeply atmospheric environment... Building on personal memory, it weaves together fact fiction, art history, and modern technology.”