The Dark Galleries

In his 2013 video The Dark Galleries, video artist and film director Nicolas Provost combines excerpts from various film noirs and gothic thrillers to create a new, and narratively coherent, short. To achieve this seamless montage, he cleverly uses the rules of the continuity style (such as match on action cutting, eyeline matches and so forth). The result is a “fascinating hall of mirrors through a montage of film noir scenes where the actors face a painted portrait,” as the artist himself puts it.


This particular video was commissioned as a supplement to an academic study published in book form. With the elaborately titled The dark galleries: A museum guide to painted portraits in film noir, gothic melodramas, and ghost stories of the 1940s and 1950s, the authors created an imaginary museum guide featuring paintings from dozens of movies. This book and video are a great example of how academic and artistic endeavours can complement each other. They tackle the same subject matter in two very different formats (a mock museum guide versus a faux film), thus stressing and revealing different aspects of the research.


Video projection with sound, 11′, 2013
Editing: Nicolas Provost
Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium