DIGITISATION AND RESTORATION OF VIDEO WORKS BY DANNY MATTHYS.
This project comprises the digitisation and restoration of the video works Danny Matthys created from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s, by argos and MuHKA in collaboration with PACKED.
Danny Matthys (1947) is difficult to pigeonhole as an artist. His oeuvre comprises various media such as photography, installations, video, paintings, assemblages and sculptures. Major themes in his work include perception, the human body, European history/history of art, the everyday environment and travel.
Danny Matthys was, at the end of the 1960s, one of the first artists in Belgium to start experimenting with Polaroid photography, film and video installations. His work has been extensively exhibited both in Belgium and internationally.
Initially, his work was highly conceptual and analytical in nature. It consisted of a series of investigations into the possibilities and the limitations of the new media and human perception. He attempted to break through the restrictiveness of perception in time and space. This exploration took the form of a series of photographs and Polaroids, and video installations.
The video works of Danny Matthys from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s are:
- Zeedijk Knokke-Heist (1973?/1974, 15 min, 4-channel video)
- Coupure (1974, 12 min, 2-channel video)
- Prudence van Duyseplein (1974, 5 min, 2-channel video)
- Closed Letter & Number Series (1975, 3 min, single channel video)
- Building - 19 verdiepingen (1975, 32 min, single channel video)
- 9 + 1 Polaroid Black & White Pictures (1976, 9 min, single channel video)
- 9 + 1 Polaroid Colour Pictures (1977, 26 min, single channel video)
- Internationale video manifestatie (1977, 18 min, single channel video)
- Expo Bar (1983, 60 min, single channel video)
- World Beauties (1983-1984, single channel video)
- De la fiction en photographie (1984, 25 min, single channel video)
Danny Matthys was one of the pioneers of video and media art in Flanders and Belgium in the 1970s. By digitising and restoring his work, Argos, MuHKA and PACKED are safeguarding an important piece of the early history of video and media art in Flanders and Belgium.
This project comprises the digitisation and restoration of Office Baroque, a 16mm television film about Gordon Matta-Clark, by Argos and MuHKA in collaboration with PACKED.
Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) was an American artist known for his site-specific artworks during the 1970s. Just like his father, Gordon Matta-Clark studied architecture. Although it never became his profession, in his artistic practice he used architecture – with its inextricable relationship with the private and public sphere, with urban development and decay – both as his medium and his subject matter. His work is characterised by his mixing of the criticism of cultural institutionalisation which was so common in Conceptual Art, the direct involvement in the surrounding environment which was characteristic of Land Art and the preference for the physical that typified Performance Art.
His most famous projects are the spectacular Cuttings, in which he cut geometric shapes out of the walls, floors and ceilings of vacant and dilapidated properties.
The Office Baroque film is a unique document, partly because Matta-Clark takes the rare step of talking about his own work. In contrast to many of his minimalist and conceptual contemporaries, he never felt the need to support his work discursively by means of reflections on his own projects or by taking up a position regarding the work of his colleagues.
The film is also important because the Office Baroque work itself is closely related to the history of contemporary art in Flanders. The Museum Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (MuHKA) was founded in 1982 as a response to the failed attempt to preserve Office Baroque for posterity.