NICOLAS PROVOST: ARTIST IN THE ISSUE
In case you didn’t know, it’s all about video art. 4D, as they call it in art school lingo. Mr Provost here is not only one of the finest purveyors of the aforementioned but has also recently made a move into feature films with The Invader which is being shown at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
1. Nicholas Provost studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Gent, Belgium and lives and works in Brussels, having returned there after living in Norway for ten years.
2. His first UK solo exhibition, was at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in London earlier this year. He has also exhibited at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in Berlin, at the Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp and been included in a number of film festivals internationally.
3. Provost mainly works with appropriated found footage which, decontextualized, tells a new story using the established language of cinema.
4. According to the bio on his website “Time and again his phantasmagorias provoke both recognition and alienation and succeed in catching our expectations into an unravelling game of mystery and abstraction. With manipulations of time, codes and form, cinematographic and narrative language is analysed, accents are shifted and new stories are told”. Quite.
5. Re-occurring themes in his work include terror, loneliness and isolation and the boundary between real life and fiction.
6. He is known for his use of the technique “datamoshing,” a codec mismatch which makes digital film footage change unpredictably causing colours and frames to swirl psychedelically into each other.
7. Provost’s film Stardust (2010) contains the last filmed footage of the actor Dennis Hopper.
8. He is inspired by “David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Serge Gainsbourg, David Bowie and the history of house music”.
9. In his own words “I edit on a very small screen and I see it as a painting. So every film even if it is fiction, it has to work as much as a cinema experience or as poetry on a wall”.
10. His films can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/NicolasProvostFilms
by Zoe Wulfsohn-Dunkley