press release

Tim Van Laere Gallery (Antwerp) is pleased to present the third solo exhibition of video works by the award winning Belgian artist and filmaker Nicolas Provost.

The Belgian artist and filmmaker Nicolas Provost will present four new films for his third solo exhibition at the Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp, shortly after his first solo exhibition at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in Berlin (12 February – 3 April 2010) and his solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum (16 September 2009 - 28 February 2010).

The video works by Nicolas Provost are characterised by their cinematic language, used in both experimental and narrative short films. His video works intensify the cinematic experience into condensed works of art, expressing the great mood swings of the human heart.

Premiering at the Tim Van Laere Gallery are the films Stardust (2010) and Abstract Action (2010). Stardust is the second part of the trilogy where Provost investigates the bounderies of fiction and reality by filming everyday life with a hidden high resolution camera and turn the cinematic images into a fiction film by using cinematographic and narrative codes from the Hollywood film language. The award winning Plot Point (2007) that turned everyday life around Times Square into a thriller film being the first part of the trilogy, this time Provost takes his hidden camera to Las Vegas in Stardust and uses the glorious and ambiguous power of the gambling capital to turn everyday life into a exciting crime story using real Hollywood stars. The third part of the trilogy has been filmed in Tokyo and follows the dark journey of a fictive serial killer interacting with real people.

Abstract Action (2010) is a found footage film that digitaly deconstructs a notorious shoot out scene into an action painting.

Long Live the New Flesh (2009), which premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival (11- 21 February 2010), is a found footage film in which existing fragments from horror films are transmogrified into a new film.

Long Live the New Flesh deploys a digital technique with painterly quality in which the images literally consume one another and the horror in all its visual power is brought to a natural boiling point.

All the ingredients that have secured Provost's experimental art films their international success are once again present here. Provost strips down the imagery of a mass medium, uses it to construct a new visual story beyond the dissection and horror, and allows the viewer to cross every phase of the emotional spectrum.

Storyteller (2010) recomposes aerial shots from the Las Vegas casino skyline to create a slick artificiality reminiscent of science fiction. At first glance, the viewer might think of jewelrylike space ships floating slowly through the universe. When the camera zooms in on buildings and architecture, the detailed glitter and kitsch of the city hypnoticaly reveals something of pure beauty and madness. Using the relatively simple technique of the horizontal mirroring screen, Provost manoeuvres and influences the interpretation of images, carefully balancing between the figurative and the abstract.

Provost's work uses the language of film to manoeuvre and influence the interpretation of images and stories. He manipulates time, codes and form, twisting and shaping new narratives and experimental sensations that tightly bind visual art and cinematography. He taps into our collective filmic memory and reconstructs it to stunning effect. Duality is intrinsic in much of his work, both literally with optical mirroring and conceptually when he toys with the blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, the sublime and the ugly, the utopian and the concrete, the marvelous and the terrible, and finally, between truth and invention. Provost is part scientist and part magician, generating a grotesque visual poetry of hypnotic beauty and macabre consequences.

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Nicolas Provost