on November 20, 2012, from 5:00 p.m. at Artpool P60 [video]
Leopold Bloom Planetoida - book presentation
presentation of the book by László L. Simon,
host of the evening: Endre Szkárosi [video]
Editors of the book: Péter Abajkovics and Ákos Székely
Published by Artpool and Magyar Műhely, Budapest, 2012
The Leopold Bloom Planetoida is the proof, consequence and part of nearly 15 years of experimental artistic activity, and it consists of three, not so sharply distinguished layers. It is a selection, firstly, of the works of art published in the Leopold Bloom journal, secondly, of the photo documentation of the significant moments of Bloomsdays originating and departing from Szombathely, and, thirdly, of some background materials for these two.
The title of this book, similarly to the journal and to Bloomsday itself, evokes the protagonist of James Joyce's Ulysses, whose father and grandfather, according to the novel, hailed from Szombathely. Accordingly, Szombathely is a framework, but at the same time a point of departure for the further developments of both the journal and the Bloomsday; for those works of art, events, artistic and non-artistic activities that are examined in this book as well, however, this time, from a cosmic dimension.
The Leopold Bloom journal, an edited assemblage magazine, was published between 1995 and 2006 in 75 copies per issue (strictly in an A5 format, structured around one buzzword), which enabled the circulation of unique, signed works of art. The issues were available only for authors and supporters, as well as for the central or marginal workshops of experimental poetry. Although it meant a certain kind of exclusivity, the journal, through its existence, verified the experiment that put forward the question whether the "actual exchange", understood as a spiritual royalty and linkage, still exists between artists and thinkers. The journal with its 23 issues published dozens of artists' works of art, practically from every inhabited continent of the world.
Likewise, the concept of Bloomsday is based on the practice of (re)writing nodes of connectivity. Its origins are tied to the first publisher of the novel, Sylvia Beach, who on the 50th anniversary of the novel, which is set on 16 June 1904, came up with the idea of walking along the scenes of the book and its various stations from leaving to arriving home. Since then the day of Bloom has been a ceremonial event in several places in different parts of the world; in Szombathely it has been organized annually within the framework of an artistic festival since 1995.
Just like the Bloom family moved from Szombathely to Budapest, Vienna, Milan, London and Dublin, so did the festival of Szombathely say farewell to the city after a 10-year long regular blooming, to its statue of Joyce and to its Leopold Bloom Gallery; and in 2005 it was set afloat in Budapest on the A38 ship. Following the route and family history of the novel, in 2006 it went to Vienna, then Milan, and next to London in 2008, the participants' path finally leading to Dublin so that the various layers could merge in Joyce's former living room.