Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Nicolas Provost

Haunch of Venison, Berlin

During my recent visit to Berlin, I made a concerted effort to visit the Haunch of Venison’s latest solo exhibition of the video works of Belgian artist and filmmaker Nicolas Provost (b. 1969, Belgium).

The gallery itself sits amongst a hub of old industrial warehouse buildings which have been converted into a number of individual gallery spaces and studios. On entering the Haunch of Venison through a small unpronounced door we were plunged into darkness within this huge open space. Five film projections then illuminated large expanses of wall space within the darkness.

Image from Haunch of Venison website

Personally, the most captivating video work was Storyteller (2010), which involves found stock footage of the cosmopolitan skyline which is mirrored and edited to create a ‘slick artificiality reminiscent of science fiction’. As the footage slowly pans along and over the skyline, with the camera growing and descending in height, the mirrored effect is a spatially mesmerising experience. The viewer gains a three-dimensional interpretation of the skyline, morphing out new spatial geometries from the existing.


‘Provost’s work uses the language of film to manoeuvre and influence the interpretation of images and stories. He manipulates times, 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 marvellous 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.

His work is a reflection on the grammar of cinema and the relationship between visual art and the cinematic experience.’

- Haunch of Venison

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