Argos - Centre for Art and Media
Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
+32 2 2290003 FAX +32 2 2237331
Three exhibitions
dal 28/9/2012 al 15/12/2012

Segnalato da

Ive Stevenheydens

calendario eventi  :: 


Three exhibitions

Argos - Centre for Art and Media, Bruxelles

James Benning - One Way Boogie Woogie 2012: six-channel video installation documenting 34 years of changes in the American metropolitan landscape. Revue OU - Cinquieme Saison: An Anthology of Sound Poetry: an overview on the main trends in avant-garde sound art after 1918. Wolf Vostell - Film & Video 1963-1987: a selection of ground breaking videos out of the Argos collection.

comunicato stampa

Wolf Vostell
Film & Video 1963-1987

Argos is pleased to announce that this autumn it will present a special series of videos by Wolf Vostell, one of the founders of the Fluxus movement in Germany. In the 1950s and 60s Vostell became famous for happenings that involved cars, radios, television sets and trains. On one occasion he famously staged a collision between a train and a car; another happening involved dropping a jukebox from a huge crane.
Vostell was one of the first artists who worked with television and he was a pioneer with video. His relationship to the media fundamentally had a higher, political meaning. To refer to it, Vostell used the term dé-coll/age, which also relates to the turbulent sixties, in which life was often experienced as “aggressive” and “destructive”. At the exhibition his seven dé-coll/age films can be viewed, which the artist made between 1963 and 1971. The Vietnam war, the persecution of the Jews,... For Vostell, violence represented an allegory of reality around him. Everyday reality was also a form of art for him, with the “acts of violence” that were committed during the protests of May 1968 being the “climax” of their merging.
Apart from the dé-coll/age films from the 1960s, Argos also presents videos from a series of Fluxus happenings and from one of the last and most famous of the Fluxus concerts by Vostell, namely in Madrid, 1986. Furthermore there are the videos of performances and installations in public spaces, which were filmed by Vostell in his characteristic style.
The exhibition presents a representative overview of all the video work Vostell produced during his career. All videos are part of a series Argos has recently acquired for its collection. From the works screened at the exhibition, it will be obvious that Vostell was a versatile innovator, who in a true avant-garde spirit and through his critical and dynamic attitude tried to free art from the bourgeois-institutional yoke—but apart from that, he was also a film and video pioneer who profoundly influenced later generations.
On the occasion of this exhibition, Argos publishes a wide-ranging essay about the videos, authored by Berta Sichel. (Rolf Quaghebeur)


James Benning
One Way Boogie Woogie 2012

James Benning (1942) is one of the pioneers of independent film in the USA. His rigorous structures and tightly composed images betray his mathematical background, whereas the often autobiographical subjects reflect his working-class roots and outspoken political activism. Benning elaborates on elements from structural film, but at the same time he is perceived as a protagonist of the new narrative movement during the 1980s. After nearly four decades of 16mm work, digital high-definition has allowed him to become even more autonomous than before, while also increasing his productivity: his recent HD films confirm his classical themes as in Ruhr (2009) or small roads (2011), but they also give way to new aesthetics like the portraiture in Twenty Cigarettes (2011) or the remake in Faces (2011).
For his first solo exhibition in Belgium, James Benning presents a six channels video installation which is the third version of his 1977 seminal film: One Way Boogie Woogie 2012 consists of eighteen long static shots with location recordings plus a Leonard Cohen song. If Mondrian’s abstract painting Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43) was a celebration of Manhattan’s dynamism, Benning offers a portrait of another America.
In 1977 he filmed 60 locations - each for 60 seconds - in Milwaukee’s industrial valley. His experiment documented the traces of decay of the metropolitan landscape and offered a meditation on destruction and progress. Then Benning remade a new film with the same 60 camera positions, along with the same Bolex 16mm camera and Nagra tape recorder: the result was called Twenty Seven Years Later (2004) and it is a genuine exploration of how memory functions and how much the entire area has been affected by industrialism.
Last year Benning returned for the third time, but he only found ten locations that remained similar to 1977, so he integrated eight new places which are reminiscent of the originals. This time-travel confrontation represents Milwaukee as a physical place, revealing the landscape in beautiful detail, and commenting on the process of industrial, political and economic change in urban America over a thirty-four year period. (Andrea Cinel)


Revue OU – Cinquième Saison: An Anthology of Sound Poetry
An overview on the main trends in avant-garde sound art after 1918.

Revue OU – Cinquième Saison is undoubtedly the most interesting group of sound works in the Argos collection. This magazine, founded by Raymond Syte in 1958, was originally called Cinquième Saison – Revue de poésie évolutive; a rather unconventional periodical that concentrated on ‘new’ poetry or – in its own words – La Poésie Jazzante.

After two editions, the French thinker, writer, poet, composer and musician Henri Chopin (1922-2008) took over from Syte. He saw to it that from number 20 (which appeared in spring 1964) to number 44 (1974) this magazine excelled: in addition to writings printed in the unconventional magazine format of 27 cm square, the publication was accompanied by limited edition 7 and 10 inch vinyl records. The Revue OU also contained graphic scores and artist’s contributions – often collage art or works of a very varied nature on paper. In this way Revue OU (Chopin only retained the subtitle Cinquième saison out of respect for his predecessor) developed into a haven for the avant-garde of sound and literature of the time, though it did not forget their predecessors (the sound work goes back to 1918).

Up to 2002 collectors were offering astronomical sums for the original magazines and Revue OU was in danger of fading into oblivion. But in that year Emanuele Carcano published a new selection that covered the years 1964-1974 through his Alga Marghen label, thereby adding extra archive material that provides even more contextual background for the project.

The exhibition entitled Revue OU – Cinquième Saison: An Anthology of Sound Poetry brings together the complete digitised sound contributions made by François Dufrêne, Brion Gysin, Raoul Haussmann, Bernard Heidsieck, Arthur Rimbaud, William S. Burroughs and Paul De Vree. The visitor is invited to browse at will through these dozens of phonetic poems, pioneering pieces of musique concrète, bruitage collages and much more, all on four sets of headphones.

The graphic contributions exhibited, by dozens of unconventional artists, writers and thinkers, including John Cage, Marcelle Cahn and Ben Vautier, not only emphasise the historical importance of the works – they truly break with tradition – but also enliven the fairly limited exhibition circuit: these inspired artists were not afraid to inject humour into their work.

Henri Chopin’s own work, iconoclastic and manifest, was of course well represented in Revue OU. Chopin used his own voice, which he was able to manipulate on early tape recorders by editing the tape itself. He was firmly convinced that sound is just as indebted to the oral tradition as to literature, and in his fragile compositions he sought a balance between chaos and order, always putting the accent on the sound itself.

This now departed artistic jack-of-all-trades – Chopin was also a painter, printmaker, designer, typographer, independent publisher, film-maker, radio-maker and promotor of the arts in general – was able to make Revue OU into a catalogue of sounds that documented the main trends in avant-garde sound art after 1918. (Ive Stevenheydens)

Image: Wolf Vostell

Press contact:
Ive Stevenheydens +32 (0)2 2290003

Opening Night 29.09.2012 // 18:00-21:00

Werfstraat 13 rue du Chantier 1000 Brussels
Opening hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 18:00
Entrance Fee: 5 / 3 euros

Pieter Geenen / SoundImageCulture
dal 1/10/2015 al 19/12/2015

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