The 1970s

Telecolor Inflammable (1977) © Joëlle de La Casinière
Telecolor Inflammable (1977) © Joëlle de La Casinière

2022 marks the year we finally present the results of the research project The 1970s.

From 2018 on, a̷r̷g̷o̷s̷ developed an art historical research that mapped the first video and film experiments in the 1970s in Belgium. In addition, we digitised undiscovered works and films. In collaboration with our partners M HKA, CINEMATEK and meemoo, we'll share all our findings at the end of this autumn through an exhibition, publication and various events. In the meantime, we’re happy to keep you posted on this research in our monthly newsletter.

artists’ film and video in Belgium in the 1970’s

In 2018, ₐᵣᶢᴼˢ received support from the cultural heritage decree of the Flemish Community for Artists’ Film and Video in Belgium in the 1970’s (2018-2021). This major research project is a collaboration with several academic and cultural partners, such as the M HKA, CINEMATEK and meemoo.

The project investigated and reconstructed the pioneering ways in which Belgian artists made use of film and video in the 1970s. To achieve this, we conducted extensive interviews with artists, as well as exhaustively examined literature and sources throughout relevant archives. Our own collection and archive, comprising more than 5,000 artists’ films and videos but obviously lacking important contributions, was the point of departure for the structure and focus of the project.

As the limited durability of videotapes and films has been an important reason to start this survey, the project combined art-historical research with a material-technical investigation. The artists were asked to explain how the artworks were installed in the past, and how these original conditions could be translated to contemporary playback equipment and modes of presentation.

In a second stage, we made a selection of the discovered works to be digitised and restored.

Finally, in the last stage, the investigated material and the research conclusions are shared with professionals and other publics. We're planning a publication, an exhibition and a serie of screenings together with our project partners.