the argos library (2024)
the argos library (2024)

ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ has many faces. Given the constantly evolving metropolitan and cultural context, the institution never stopped moving, changing and growing, which makes the history of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ an eventful journey. What initially started as an annual festival grew into an organisation that, in support of the (blooming) production of Belgian artists' film, progressively invested in its distribution services. Due to the growing catalog, additional services became inevitable. ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ developed an archival practice to preserve, an exhibition space to present and a library to study all the films in its collections.

Grown organically

The current library collection has over 4000 publications on audiovisual arts, ranging from periodicals, festival catalogs, and artist monographs to theoretical collections and essays examining audiovisual culture from diverse critical perspectives. Over the years the collection grew organically and in constant dialogue with the activities of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ. The numerous personal contributions of staff members and visiting researchers who built upon specialised research and the work of their predecessors also contribute to the eclectic nature of the collection. The library is not only a collection of snapshots of what is considered relevant in the present and the past in the audiovisual arts, it also gives an account of the life cycle of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ as an archive, distributor, and venue for exhibitions. A cross-section of our bookshelves will always reveal a piece of zeitgeist and a piece of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ.

Not only books

Between the bookshelves, there is a series of computers on which the audiovisual archive is made accessible. Users of the library can browse through the digitised works of the audiovisual collection and dig up film works as they please. The library and film catalog are both topical gateways to our public programs, exhibitions, and distribution services. Each new exhibition lifts the top of that veil by highlighting a multilingual book selection in the bar of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ. Like our film collection, we consider ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ’ book collection to be far from complete. We constantly seek to enrich, align, and bring new perspectives to our collections. We encourage original research projects that address the gaps in our collection and their connection to art history, culture, and society. Researchers, artists, and staff members can make sense of, contextualise, and relate the past and the present of the audiovisual arts to what is happening in the world today. By doing so, the library becomes a place for critical reflection, inspiration, and interaction.

The archive and the library are driving the overall activity of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ. The critical questions and thoughts that support their activities are the backbone of the organisation. They nourish, question, and back up the position of ⓐⓡⓖⓞⓢ within the audiovisual sector, the metropolitan context, and society. They form, as it were, the fertile ground for the mission that argos set for itself: to understand the world better through audiovisual arts.

Who is the library for?

For you. From artists seeking inspiration, Ph.D. students, students with pressing school assignments, and curious visitors who want to explore the theme of an exhibition. The library is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Visitors have to specify in advance the titles they wish to consult. This selection is then prepared by our library manager. She is willing to answer any questions about the library and its catalogs. Welcome!

Browse through our online catalogue

contact info :
Jenthe Blockx

Open on Thursday and Friday
from 12:00-18:00

Access by appointment only. Please contact us by sending an e-mail to or call +32 2 229 00 03

Our library is closed during the weekend and on following dates: