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The Street


(1) De Straat (Jef Cornelis, 1972)

As part of its 1971–1972 programme, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven has planned an exhibition on the street as a form of visual environment. The museum thus becomes part of an international trend that manifests a renewed interest in the street as a living environment, see: Rudofsky, Streets for People. The exhibition in Eindhoven would consist of four sections:

1. street typology

2. meaning and functions of street types

3. sociological meaning of the street/meeting point of society;

4. the street as an environment for a new art, see: Jürgen Claus, Expansion der Kunst.

In order to bring this concept to a successful conclusion, the traditional approach and means of an exhibition no longer suffice. The organizers, Jean Leering and Harald Szeemann, need to call on a broad, interdisciplinary panel, in which specialists of audiovisual communication techniques have a primordial role to play.

Even though it’s business as usual, it is nevertheless highly surprising that television is not involved in such an initiative, both from the perspective of the organizers and from that of television. It is not normal that television’s task is limited to a brief report of the exhibition. At the very least, one should ask oneself whether this offers ground for a fruitful cooperation. The following arguments support this claim:

1. The subject is ideally suited for a fascinating television programme. The street is a theme that is present in almost all television programmes, without ever being addressed explicitly.

2. The preparatory work of the exhibition organizers could benefit television, as the latter no longer has to do the research itself.

3. By becoming part of the team from the outset, television, as a specialist in audiovisual communication, could orient the team’s research so as to benefit both the exhibition and a possible television programme of its own.

4. The exhibition is not limited to the walls of the museum, but is extended to the television network. Conversely, television becomes involved in a concrete social process (which only happened in the entertainment sector so far). The involvement of television indicated here could be extended to all sectors, such as scientific research.

5. It would be a first for Flemish television, which could be important given the concept’s international nature.

Archival document concerning the television programme De straat [The Street]. First broadcast: 14 September 1972. Script: Geert Bekaert; camera: Guido Van Rooy; montage: Gust Malfliet; production: Herwig Jacquemyns; directed by Jef Cornelis.

This document is published in Dutch in De Witte Raaf, no. 117 (september-oktober 2005).


With thanks to Kristine Kloeck.


This text is published in the context of the online première of Voyage à Paris (1993), Abdij van Park Heverlee (1964), De Straat (1972) and Rijksweg N1 (1978) by Jef Cornelis, tonight at 20:30 on Avila. You can find more information on the event here.

In Passage, Sabzian invites film critics, authors, filmmakers and spectators to send a text or fragment on cinema that left a lasting impression.
Pour Passage, Sabzian demande à des critiques de cinéma, auteurs, cinéastes et spectateurs un texte ou un fragment qui les a marqués.
In Passage vraagt Sabzian filmcritici, auteurs, filmmakers en toeschouwers naar een tekst of een fragment dat ooit een blijvende indruk op hen achterliet.
The Prisma section is a series of short reflections on cinema. A Prisma always has the same length – exactly 2000 characters – and is accompanied by one image. It is a short-distance exercise, a miniature text in which one detail or element is refracted into the spectrum of a larger idea or observation.
La rubrique Prisma est une série de courtes réflexions sur le cinéma. Tous les Prisma ont la même longueur – exactement 2000 caractères – et sont accompagnés d'une seule image. Exercices à courte distance, les Prisma consistent en un texte miniature dans lequel un détail ou élément se détache du spectre d'une penséée ou observation plus large.
De Prisma-rubriek is een reeks korte reflecties over cinema. Een Prisma heeft altijd dezelfde lengte – precies 2000 tekens – en wordt begeleid door één beeld. Een Prisma is een oefening op de korte afstand, een miniatuurtekst waarin één detail of element in het spectrum van een grotere gedachte of observatie breekt.