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Jef Cornelis, De Straat (The Street), 1972, 16 mm transferred to video, color and black-and-white, sound, 39 minutes 30 seconds.

Jef Cornelis

Argos Centre for Art and Media

Jef Cornelis, De Straat (The Street), 1972, 16 mm transferred to video, color and black-and-white, sound, 39 minutes 30 seconds.

The importance of what Jef Cornelis produced during his career at the BRT—the Belgian Radio and Television company, later renamed the Flemish Radio and Television company—can hardly be overestimated. Between 1964 and 1998, Cornelis directed more than two hundred documentaries, film essays, and live broadcasts on modern art, architecture, and other topics in the cultural domain. “Inside the White Tube. A Retrospective View on the Television Work of Jef Cornelis” gave an overwhelming image of four decades of television historiography. Although today it is tempting to look at this exhibition in a purely nostalgic way—as the record of a lost paradise of public television—one should instead zoom in on the methods Cornelis used to undermine and disarray the laws of TV production.

The exhibition’s four thematic sections (“Speaking in Tongues,” “Arguments,” “Decades,”

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