Jef Cornelis

The rich and impressive body of work of Jef Cornelis has yet to be evaluated and analyzed. In the period between 1963 and 1998, he was primarily active as a director and scriptwriter for the Flemish broadcasting company (VRT) in Belgium. One of the most important aspects of Cornelis’ work is that he did not hide himself behind the camera, or present his films as objective and essentially “true” to reality. Instead, inspired by certain developments in the filmmaking of the 1960s, he treated the camera as his pen or camera stylo, as a way to express his opinions on the events that he filmed. Apart from being a television maker, he was also involved in various art initiatives, and was an active participant in the international art scene, which gave him a unique access to this field. He has left behind several documentaries in which the art world is constructed and presented in a particular way, reflecting his deep dissatisfaction with certain manifestations of power. Nevertheless, after filming documenta 5 in 1972, Cornelis decided to stop filming the “art world”.