Argos (Center For Art & Media) about celebrating 30y this Saturday

Dec 05 2019

Founded in 1989 in Brussels, ARGOS is an institution and resource for the production and advancement of critical audiovisual arts, as well as for its distribution, conservation and restoration. This text is their mission statement for Saturday’s night we host with them.

There was a brief yet fruitful period, roughly from the late 1960’s to the early 1980’s, when art and clubbing were most intimately entwined. In fact, some of the most exciting art from this era could only be experienced in night clubs, where it was often produced site and context specifically.

At the time, these innovative artistic interventions couldn’t be viewed in the many museums and galleries that would soon become the main sites for realising and experiencing artistic production. The subsequent taking of art into sanctified and “neutral” art spaces signifies a true loss, through which key connections with everyday life and pleasure were erased.

So what kinds of shifts in meaning can be be produced if art spaces and nightclubs collaborate on programmes as equals? Which connections established anew? Throughout the early days of video art, a significant part of its production took place in non visual art contexts, ranging from music venues to dance recitals to broadcast television. Its return to some of these contexts is merely cyclical and part of its ongoing history.

Of course, art as such has never truly left the club, but that’s a sweet secret only nightclubbing people know. The recognition that artists and artworks have always remained vital to nightclub activities through multi-directional inspiration and creation is long overdue. But it is also appealing to start engaging with DJing as dynamic artistic expression or the organising of club nights as nocturnal curating, the nightclub presenting an at times more dynamic, and unbridled alternative sphere to the daytime dealings of the art world proper. 

The celebration of ARGOS’ 30th anniversary at C12 signifies both a new beginning for us and a revisiting of the interwoven history of contemporary art and dance music. We hope that you enjoy what we’ve come up with – an evening of music and video – and that it excites you about future C12 X ARGOS collaborations.

Niels Van Tomme, director ARGOS
Tom Brus, founder C12