artist / participant
After playing on the spectators’ emotions in Cinematics, his previous exhibition, Nicolas Provost takes us for an apnoeic journey with Plot Point. If the sensory shock remains an essential part of the process, this time Provost also triggers our storytelling skills. Intuition is at the core of these works of art both in the way they are conceived and in the way they are invested by the viewer. Never truly giving away their essence and meaning, the films are mystery puzzles leaving scattered clues and teasing our darkest imagination and impulses. Real and well-known American cop land with its howling police cars, uniforms, ambulances, and crowded streets, very soon turns into a perfect filmic scenery questioning the boundaries of reality and fiction, but also narrative codes of cinema (tension curve, climax, plot point), playing with our expectations and leaving the mystery unravelled (Plot Point). The reassuring world of multiplied cinematographic kisses is shattered by a stroboscopic effect that plunges and looses us into the dizzying vertigo of the embrace where, as often in Provost’s cinema, love becomes a passionate battle in which monsters are finally unmasked (Gravity). In contrast with the turmoil of the background fireworks, the encounter of a couple seems to be tragically suspended in time, as if the characters were walking under water, their movements fettered by the weight of the matter, reaching for the viewer’s subconscious cinematic and emotional memory (The Divers). Finally letting go of realist constraints, and going back to the mirror-images of some of Provost’s famous previous works, we are finally diving into a cosmic ocean of ever metamorphosing baroque circumvolutions in which our minds try to capture reassuring forms before letting the ghostly demons blur our vision (Suspension). At the core of all those enthralling images is cinema itself, in its essential definition - made of altered times and movements, creating a new vision through intense sensations.
If the films can be considered as autonomous bubbles, indisputable links also emerge from their display in the Tim Van Laere Gallery; as indicated by the succession of titles, from Plotpoint to Gravity, The Divers and finally Suspension, we are physically involved into a deep exploration progressively gliding away from realist and familiar landscapes and falling into undisclosed territories. Playing once again with different mediums, Provost adds, with the presence of the photographed stills in the gallery, another dimension to the mystery of the films - new petrified particles of unsolved enigmas. All questions are irrelevant to our aroused senses and vision entirely rapt by the beauty and power of Provost’s dark poetry.
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