MISSION & ACTIVITIES
Argos is the leading national institute for art film and video. Argos was the first—and still is—the most complete art centre devoted to this recent art form. Argos’ expertise with regard to the conservation, restoration, production and presentation of art films and videos is widely recognized. The centre wants to retain is leading national role and at an international level it wants to strengthen its respected key position.
Argos will continue to widen its activities, to open and reopen audiovisual art, as well as continuing its development as a multifunctional hub between artist and public. The centre seeks to trigger a permanent confrontation between art and society. Argos is a meeting place for constant renewal: stimulating for the experimental artist and challenging for the exploring public.
What Argos offers will be a permanent challenge to any form of cultural complacency. Argos wants to go where no one has gone before, and fundamentally seeks to play an authentic pioneering role—professional and never resigned.
Argos combines the function of an art centre with a fully-fledged collection program—which is absolutely unique. We are active exclusively in the domain of artists’ film and video. Though these are ‘audiovisual’ disciplines (both single screen and installations), they are essentially different from cinema and traditional visual art forms.
Like other visual artists, writers, composers, etc. our artists depart from an individual stance. They distinguish themselves with regard to form and iconography, but they depend on production means that go beyond an individual ‘closed’ studio practice. Furthermore, the production and distribution techniques evolve very rapidly. Unlike for example a sculpture, their works of art are not rare market objects, but can be reproduced in any number. Screening in a traditional museum setting is not always possible or desirable.
Since its creation, Argos has responded to the specific needs of this form of art. We cover the entire chain of development, production, archiving, preservation (both analogue and digital-born), making accessible to the public, reflection and distribution in those instances that there is no plausible alternative in the public or private sector.
We help artists with concrete support. We put at their disposal production and editing facilities for renting out and (co-)production and our artistic team provides professional assistance, as well as guidance with regard to content. We have a proven track record when it comes to archiving, preservation and restoration of analogue, digitized and digital-born works. In addition, we are both nationally and internationally an efficient ambassador of the artists’ film and video because of our active distribution policy.
Our extensive and varied activity program includes exhibitions, lectures and screenings, and guarantees a unique experience and a voyage of discovery with every visit.
We manage a collection that comprises circa 5,000 works. We are responsible not only for their preservation and restoration, but also for their presentation and for providing reflection through for example collection research, publications and a media library.
In our comprehensive media library the entire collection is accessible, and we provide a social, (art) historical and intellectual context with over 4,200 books, 600 festival catalogues and about a dozen different magazines.