Stardust is an artistic investigation of the tropes and stylistic traits that define the thriller genre. Video artist Nicolas Provost creates suspense out of thin air, solely by using both the iconography and stylistic conventions of the thriller.


Provost didn’t appropriate existing footage but made his own. Using a hidden camera he filmed situations, passersby and even celebrities in Las Vegas. He infuses that footage with Hollywood tension by carefully selecting images that evoke thriller iconography (a limousine with tinted windows, shady characters making secretive phone calls, actors such as Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson who lucked in front of his camera) and by employing suspense style elements (long lens photography, slow zoom shots). Finally, he pads out his montage by adding suspenseful music and dialogues, lifted from existing Hollywood movies. The result is a video that masterfully reveals the cinematographic codes and narrative tools that make up the Hollywood film language.


“What I want to achieve with my work, is to take the different codes that the medium of cinema developed over the past century, and use them to make the viewer conscious of the fact we are all part of one big film-memory”. (Nicolas Provost)


Video projection with sound, 20′, 2010
Cinematography, editing, sound design: Nicolas Provost
Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp & Haunch of Venison, London