Nicolas Provost • Long Live the New Flesh
Long Live the New Flesh, 2009
Single channel video
Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
Cinema is the main theme and a basic ingredient of Nicolas Provost’s oeuvre. In short poetic videos without plot or conventional structure, Provost recycles, analyses and manipulates the imagery, codes and grammar of the cinematic language. The aesthetic power of the image plays a leading role; Provost’s videos highlight cinematographic conventions in an analytical way, but moreover, are consciously focused on beauty, emotions and experience. This places his work at the interface between visual art and film. It consciously plays with the discourses that are characteristic of both worlds.
In ‘Long Live the New Flesh’, Provost tackles the genre of horror. Images that are typical of cult horror films have been mounted one after another in a terrifying, distorted collage. A great many typical horror elements and clichés pass before us: the frenzied, the monsters, and the victims who are beside themselves with fear; blood, slime, chain saws and distorted limbs. The manipulation of the image material through the digital technique of datamoshing, adds an aspect of far-reaching alienation. The images are severely transmogrified and contorted: they have been dissected, appearing to dissolve into each other or literally to devour one another. Supported by the fragmented soundtrack, this adds an extra emotional dimension – within a few moments, the viewer experiences the full range of feelings belonging to the horror genre. The title of the work is a literal citation from David Cronenberg’s cult film ‘Videodrome’, in which video technology and the human body organically blend into each other. Provost pushes this theme of distortion and blending to the extreme, to an ultimate magnification and apotheosis of the visual language of a cinematic genre. – source