Oma-je will be acclaimed French artist Laure Prouvost’s largest exhibition to date in North America. It celebrates her relationship to artistic predecessors including John Latham, Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Varda, and Niki de Saint Phalle, amongst others. The exhibition also transitions into more recent works that look to embodied ways of knowing for inspiration, shifting from Grandfather to Grandmother and forefather to foremother. Prouvost is known for her playful use of language, translation and transliteration, experimental narrated video, and immersive and surprising installations that transport visitors into unfamiliar worlds created largely from everyday objects.
The exhibition will include iconic pieces by Prouvost such as Grandma’s Dream (2013), End Is Her Story (2017), This Means (2019), Four For See Beauties (2022), and an immersive newly commissioned work titled Ohmmm age Oma je ohomma mama, to premiere simultaneously at Remai Modern, Saskatoon, and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna in 2023.
The latest installation focuses on the figure of the grandmother as an ancestor and trailblazer. The work will transform the gallery into a theatre of object relating to memory, imagination, and inheritance. Visitors will be invited to travel through time and lose themselves in the dark, complex play between past and present, individual and society, and between modern and ancient concepts, relationships, materials and techniques. An important grandmother who offers inspiration for this new work includes the iconic 30,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf – and the dozens of other small limestone female figures created in a similar form and time period. Her journeys through space and time, passed from hand to hand, offered an intimate transfer of fertility, good fortune, spiritual symbols, or titillation. This powerful figure is amongst the earliest examples of symbolic representation and an important foremother to art as we know it.