Artpool Artist’s Publication
Artpool Art Research Center collects, archives, and makes available documents for researchers regarding marginalized art practices of Hungary in the 1970s and 1980s and contemporary international art tendencies. Topics in the archive include progressive, unofficial Hungarian art movements (such as underground art events, venues, groups, and samizdat publications between 1970 and 1990) and new tendencies in international art beginning in the 1960s.
In addition to functioning as a research center, Artpool considers itself an active archive. It organizes events in search of new forms of social activity, participates in the process in a formative way, and simultaneously documents and archives these process in order to promote the free flow of information.
Budapest, Szabolcs utca 33
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Name of collection
Artpool Artist’s Publication
Provenance and cultural activities
Samizdat periodicals, experimental publications, and bookworks had been in the focus of Artpool’s endeavors since the outset, and they became important in the collecting strategy of the archive. In the 1980s, as a result of the lack of information and the hunger for cultural content (which went beyond state-controlled cultural products), several experimental art periodicals created with simple tools but in various forms had been distributed. AL (Actual / Alternative / Artpool Letter) was among the first art samizdat journals edited by Júlia Klaniczay and György Galántai. Eleven issues were published between 1983 and 1985. AL reported on contemporary events in the Hungarian underground art scene and published texts in Hungarian translation on current events and topics practically unknown in Hungary, like installation art, concrete poetry, and new wave music. The design of the publication created by György Galántai was outstanding at the time, though it was made at home and Galántai used only basic tools. The use of alternative solutions was a characteristic working method in the later history of Artpool as well: numerous Artpool projects were accompanied by original, bookwork-like catalogues published in small numbers of copies. This creative solution was prompted in part by limited financial means, but in addition, numbered bookworks signed by the artist were considered original artworks, so they were not subjected to the official censorship process which other print materials had to go through before publication. Galántai often made use of this loophole in his underground culture pursuits. In the 1980s, several bookwork-catalogues were produced in this manner, and Textile Without Textile (1980) and many mail art exhibitions were documented in the form of bookworks, for instance World Art Post (1982), Everybody with Anybody (1982), and No. 51 of the Commonpress mail art magazine issued on the occasion of the Hungary Can Be Yours! show in 1984.In the growth of Artpool’s bookwork collection, mail art had a crucial role since the outset. In the 1980s and 1990s, artists circulated artworks in various forms within the broad mail art network. Artist books and fanzines often involving visual poetry turned out to be ideal as a means of expressing diverse content in a “mail friendly” form. Thanks to György Galántai’s extended mail art network of contacts, the collection of Artpool has been growing continuously, –partly as a result of exchanges of publications. In later years (and this remains a “living tradition” today), artists regularly sent their works, including bookworks, to the archive as donations. Artpool’s collection, which is unique at the European level of international artist books, contains materials on more than 300 artists related to bookwork from all over the world, such as Guy Bleus (B), Ágnes Háy (HU), Ágnes Eperjesi (HU), Luc Fierens (B), Heinz Gappmayr (A), Dick Higgins (USA), J. H. Kocman (CZ), Jarosław Kozłowski (PL), Robert Rehfeldt (D), Arrigo Lora-Totino (IT), Gábor Tóth (HU), Jiri Valoch (CZ), and Ben Vautier (F).
Description of content
The Collection of Artist publications at Artpool consists of samizdat art periodicals related to the underground culture (in Hungarian) and the collection of bookworks the creators of which experimented with the genre of the book. Artist publications is an umbrella term referring to various publications with different characteristics, from fanzine to bookwork or even some samizdat art publications. An artist’s book is a unique, often numbered work of art in book form which experiments with the traditional visuality and content of the genre. Bookworks in the Artpool collection cover a wide range of topics, such as literature, visual poetry, fluxus, mail art and computer art, current social problems, and gender issues. A fanzine (or zine) is a product of small press publishing, along with other artist publications often created with “do it yourself” methods in the independent cultural scene, considered either artwork or samizdat periodicals. Fanzines are popular among contemporary artists.
In the Artpool archive, documents on more than 30 artists are available for research in connection with fanzines from the 1970s to present day. Samizdat publications created originally in the 1970s and 1980s are characteristic products of underground culture and political activism. The periodicals, which were distributed in a “semi-illegal” way, were of inestimable value as sources of information in a narrow circle of the underground cultural scene.
Researchers can consult rare source materials in the thematic bibliography on bookwork. Materials available for research can be found in the bibliographic and the separate bookwork database. Currently, there are more than 1,000 entries referring to artists’ books, while the bookwork database contains 3,900 entries.
Most of the publications focus on mail art (almost 800 entries). The second largest part of the collection is the visual poetry bookworks (more than 200 entries). Different thematic interests are often represented within one publication. There are more than 50 artist publications in the archive connected both to mail art and visual poetry. Fanzines (174 entries), literature (69 entries), and copy art (51) are also popular topics in the bookwork collection.
The continuously growing mail art chronology project of Artpool presents a complete list of international and Hungarian mail art events from the 1970s with related documents in digitalized form (for example the cover of the Hungarian catalogue of the international mail art show organized by Mexican-Dutch artist Ulises Carrión and the curator in the Young Artists’ Club in Budapest in 1978 or the catalogue of the show entitled Artist’s Match Books & Boxes (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 1983).
The list of rare samizdat art periodicals available for research in the archive can be consulted online in order to facilitate preliminary research.Expresszió is one of the most interesting rare publications in the archive. The archive also contains all five issues of Önmanipuláló szétfolyóirat published in 1972–1973, and they are all accessible to researchers. The title is a pun which might be translated as “Self-manipulating periodical,” but the Hungarian text plays with the Hungarian word for periodical and implies something flowing or spreading in every direction. The periodical was founded by Árpád Ajtony and Béla Hap. The archive also contains the complete series (six issues) of Sznob International, a samizdat art journal edited by Tamás Pap and published in 1981and 1982.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Budapest, Frankel Leó út 68/b.
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- Exhibition: "Hidden Story: Samizdat from Hungary & Elsewhere" in New York in 1990.
- Underground Art During the Aczél Era
- Avantgarde and Artists' Books in Poland 1919-1997
- The Year of the Network in Artpool, 1997.
- Boîte – Box. interactive boxes, fluxus boxes, bookworks and other memorial works
- THE BOOK (±)SYMMETRY-VIOLATION
- Samizdat. Alternative Culture in Central and Eastern Europe from the 1960s to the 1980s
- visits by appointments
Galántai, György – Klaniczay, Júlia (szerk.). AL 1-11, Budapest: Artpool, 1983-1985.
Galántai, György – Klaniczay, Julia (eds.). ARTPOOL – The Experimental Art Archive of East-Central Europe. History of an active archive for producing, networking, curating, and researching art since 1970, Budapest: Artpool, 2013.
The Artpool, 1980, A6, 18 pages, offset, bookwork (1st issue of the Poolwindow newsletter)
Art & Book. Extended Book – online textbook
ART + POST (Művészet és Posta), 1981, four A6 booklets in an envelope, offset, ca. 200 copies. (The series containing the Hungarian translation of articles and studies about correspondence art was published to prepare the first exhibition of Hungarian mail artists. The fourth booklet was also the catalogue of the exhibition.)
ART-UMBRELLA (Művészet-Esernyő), 1981, bookwork-catalog, A6, offset, with color foil cover, 97 numbered copies. 104 works by 33 Hungarian artists
Commonpress No. 51, Artpool, Budapest, 1984,
Stamp + Rubber Stamp, Artpool, 1982, 17x15 cm, 125 numbered copies.
Flux Flag, Artpool, Budapest, 1992.
Hommage à Marcel Duchamp, Artpool. Budapest, 2007 (A4, color digital print, 100 copies, 143 pages + insert: English summary of the “Five minute lectures”). A bookwork-catalog, an imprint of the website documenting the event (symposium, concerts and exhibition) “In the Spirit of Marcel Duchamp” organized by György Galántai (Artpool) and Péter György (Department of Aesthetics at the Eötvös Loránd Univ.) in 1987
In the Spirit of Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp Centenary 1887-1987, Artpool, Budapest, 2007.
Monument Square Postcards, Artpool, Budapest, 1997 (an edition of 56 cards selected from the 134 works received for the project to transform a postcard showing Budapest’s Heroes square)
Marcel Duchamp Szimpozion, 1987 [Marcel Duchamp Symposium 1987], Artpool, Budapest, 2007 (A4, digital print, 62 pages, Hungarian), publication with the “Five minute lectures” held at the symposium in 1987 by 21 leading Hungarian artists and art critics
Mindenki mindenkivel. Everybody with Anybody. APS No. 11., Artpool, 1982.
Szkárosi, Endre – Galántai, György. Szellőzőművek, JAK Füzetek 50., Magvető, Budapest, 1990.
Textil Without Textil, Artpool, 1980.World Art Post, Artpool, Budapest, 1982.
Author(s) of this page
- Szirmai, Anna
Bence György: Cenzúrázott és alternatív közlési lehetőségek a magyar kultúrában - Beszámoló a budapesti Kulturális Fórum alkalmából, AB Hírmondó 1985/4., Budapest, 1985. augusztus-szeptember, pp. 17-38.
Beke, László – Sasvári, Edit: “Ungarn kann dir gehören”. Die Künstler des Underground, in: Eichwede, Wolfgang (ed.): Samizdat. Alternative Kultur in Zentral- und Osteuropa: Die 60er bis 80er Jahre, Bremen, 2000, pp. 168–171.
Deréky Pál – Müllner András (eds.). Né/ma? Tanulmányok a magyar neoavantgárd köréből, Ráció Kiadó, Budapest, 2004.
Forgács, Péter – Galántai, György – Petri, György. Petrified forEast, Arizona State University, 1993.
György, Péter: Föld alatt, föld felett. Avantgárd az Aczél-korszakban, Magyar Napló,, 1990, Február 22, p. 13.
Hap Béla. Mi az underground? In: Hap Béla: Halk magyar underground-kiáltvány, "Szétfolyóirat (Expresszió. Önmanipuláló Szétfolyóirat)", 1973. Február
Havasréti József. Alternatív regiszterek. A kulturális ellenállás formái a magyar
neoavantgárdban, Typotex, Budapest, 2006.
Havasréti József – K. Horváth Zsolt (eds.). Avantgárd: underground: alternatív. Popzene, művészet és szubkulturális nyilvánosság Magyarországon, Kijárat Kiadó — Artpool Művészetkutató Központ – PTE Kommunikációs Tanszék, Budapest, Pécs, 2003.
Havasréti József. Széteső dichotómiák. Színterek és diskurzusok a magyar neoavantgárdban (Kommunikáció és kultúratudományi tanulmányok –Gondolat Kiadó – Artpool – PTE Kommunikáció- és Média-tudományi Tanszék, Budapest–Pécs, 2009.
Klaniczay, Júlia: Afterword to the Publications by Artpool. in: Phillpot, Clive – Sune Nordgren (eds.): Outside of a Dog, Paperbacks and Other Books by Artists, BALTIC, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (Newcastle), 2003, p. 9.
Koppány Márton (szerk.). Idegen az ajtóban, Artpool - Balassi Kiadó, 1999.
Lázár Eszter: “Book, bookwork, bookmark”, IN: Magyar Műhely, No. 102, 1997, pp. 14-18.
Lyons, Joan (ed.). Artists’ Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, New York, 4th edition, 1993, (1985).
Perneczky Géza. A háló. Alternatív művészeti áramlatok a folyóirat-kiadványaik tükrében 1968-1988, Héttorony Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1991.
Sebők Zoltán. Az új művészet fogalomtára, Orpheusz Kiadó, 1996.