“Female, noun. Slimy, liquid, kneadable. 9 brains, 8 tentacles, has 3 hearts and blue blood. Elegant, can shoot ink, to cook and to write. Transparent. Grey-brown. Very powerful. Brain on a platter.” That´s how Laure Prouvost describes the octopus in her Legsicon, published for her solo exhibition Am-Big-You-Us Legsicon in the M HKA two years ago. Prouvost remains fascinated by this sea creature, which shows up regularly in her videos, sculptures, (sound) installations and performances.
A gigantic specimen washes up on the beach of De Panne. Her tentacles symbolise how Prouvost - who also washed up in multilingual Belgium - had to manoeuvre amongst the different cultures and forms of communication. She spreads her tentacles over the sand and cautiously explores the environment with her suckers. She points you the way with a telescope in hand. No less than sixty percent of the octopus´ intelligence resides in her tentacles. Her thoughts, palpations and movements fuse together. Synaesthesia, the ability to link one sensory impression to a different sensory impression, constitutes her greatest strength and survival strategy. This tactility also finds its way into Prouvost´s oeuvre. She often addresses the viewer directly with a brief maxim, thus immersing you in a special sensorial environment.
Moreover, with a humorous wink Prouvost compares the octopus with human ´ways of coping´: the octopus holds a plug and other working instruments firmly in her tentacles, which are grown over with mussels and breasts. As well as a boot of one of the riders of the artwork Men by Nina Beier on the breakwater in Nieuwpoort.