Since the 70ies, Belgian video art is internationally known for its avant-gardism, its eclecticism and its multiples crossovers with other disciplines. In the past, but incontrovertibly also in the present time, Belgian artists have been pioneers in the use of the medium and the development of multifaceted registers thanks to the video techniques and their personal approaches. Because they stand out with their imaginative ideas and their zest to create unconventional work with a personal handwriting, Belgian artists’ film and video makers have created their own free zone.
Although, this selection represents a small cross section among thousands of titles archived at Argos, these programs try to illustrate recurrent aspects of the productions released during the 70ies and the 80ies.
The first program highlights two documentaries by Jef Cornelis and Stefaan Decostere - two major figures of Flanders television – which
remain more than a report about their subject. Ijsbreker 01: Panamarenko is a portrait of the artist Panamarenko, but the transmission also aspires to tear down the high walls around the art world and, at the same time, breaks the codes of live television. On the other hand, Er ligt een video in de soep, unconventional in style and international in scope, presents an overview of the history of video art till 1983.
Ria Pacquée’s and Lili Dujourie’s early works compose the second and the third programs.
Performance Metro Meir is a recording of a performance that Pacquée did in 1979 while, in Madame going to a dog show, Pacquée takes on the character of a lonely middle-aged lady who walks and wonders around a dog show.
In Dujourie’s work, everything is centred on the exploration of the body. Dujourie draws attention to the space beyond the visual field and embraces duration in order to bring to us in a dimensionless other reality of the imagination
The last program compiles different works which experiment with the techniques and the languages of the medium. Among the titles, the collective artists’ film, which was presented by Jacques Charlier as a contribution to the 1971 Paris Biennale, is a truly gem and testimonies, due to the fact it had been considered lost, the fundamental role of the Argos preservation program.

Programme #1
Jef Cornelis - Ijsbreker 01: Panamarenko

1983, 48’48”, colour, Dutch spoken, English subtitles.
Stefaan Decostere - Er ligt een video in de soep
1983, 63’50”, colour and b&w, Dutch, English, French and German spoken, English subtitles.

Programme #2
Ria Pacquée - Performance Metro Meir

1980, 61’56”, b&w, sound.
Ria Pacquée - Madame going to a dog show
1988, 29’30”, colour, sound.

Programme #3
Lili Dujourie - Hommage à… I
1972, 20’07’’, b&w, silent.
Lili Dujourie - Passion de l’ètè pour l’hiver
1981, 15’31’’, b&w, silent.
Lili Dujourie - Sonnet
1974, 07’18’’, b&w, silent.
Lili Dujourie - Spiegel
1976, 07’27’’, b&w, silent.

Programme #4
Danny Matthys – 9+1 Polaroid Black & White Pictures
1977, 08’40”, b&w, sound.
Luc Deleu, Filip Francis and Wout Vercammen – Superposition
1978, 27’00”, b&w, sound.
Jacques-Louis Nyst – L’objet
1974, 10’43”, b&w, French spoken, English subtitles.
Philippe Van Snick – Richtingen
1978, 16’09”, colour, silent.
Marc Verstockt - Five acts on screen
1975, 05’00”, b&w, sound.
Collectieve film voor de Biënnale van Parijs 1971 met fragmenten van Walter Swennen, Guy Mees, Leo Josefstein, Jacques Charlier, Bernd Lohaus, Panamarenko
1971, 38’53”, b&w, Dutch, French, German and Italian, English subtitles.