Artpool Art Research Center is an avant-garde and contemporary art project and archive, founded in 1979 by György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay in Budapest.
Artpool's mission is to document, archive, research, share, and present local and international art practices related to conceptual art, Fluxus, as well as to experimental tendencies and mediums
Artpool was founded upon the legacy of György Galántai’s Chapel Studio in Balatonboglár (1970-1973) and his “active archive” concept. Active archives do not only “collect material already existing ‘out there’, but the way it operates also generates the very material to be archived. An active archive is a living institution that can be interpreted as an organic and open artwork or as an activist artistic practice.”
After ten years of underground operation and functioning for 25 years as an NGO, Artpool became a department of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2015.
In 2020, it moved into the campus of the National Museum Restoration and Storage Center (OMRRK) and now continues its mission as part of the Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI).
The unparalleled collection of the Artpool Art Research Center documents the history of art movements, trends and aspirations that emerged from the 1960s, including what is termed as unofficial artistic trends (underground, samizdat). The archives’ 650 running metres and 2,300 hours of digitalised material allows research into some 7,500 artists, art groups and institutes. Thanks to the documents and works it preserves, Artpool is an ideal place of research providing an insight into the intellectual developments of an era. The Artpool archives is a treasure trove of letters, descriptions of artworks, notes, sketches, concepts, interviews, various writings and works, as well as photo-documentation, catalogues, invitations, posters, bibliographies, chronologies, monographs, periodicals, diagrams, portfolios, video- and audio documents.
Organizing exhibitions and art events
• Introduction to the trends in artistic thinking and use of new tools since the 1960s (Intermedia, Network, Internet, Performance, Installation, Artists' Bookwork, Artistamps, sound poetry, etc.)
• The presentation of possible antecedents and links (actions, happenings, fluxus, mail art, experimental film, video, etc.)
• Organising projects that stimulate new ideas
• Lectures and workshops on the history of art, with special reference to the current research being done at Artpool; special classes for university students (by appointment).
• Cooperation with university faculties, including the practical training and internship for university students.
• Publishing anthologies about current topics in art as educational aids.
Public documentation, archives, library, sound & video library (reading room service)
• Professional support and follow-up of research projects (theses, doctoral dissertations)
• Ongoing collection development based on active documentation, research and collection work
• Research in art and art history from the late 1950s onwards, with a special focus on the discovery of source documents, the creation of summaries and aids essential for research, and the initiation of research into contemporary art fields still little known in Hungary.
• Initiating and participating in international cooperation and research projects.
• Cultivating and expanding Artpool's extensive artistic and scientific network
• Collaboration with artists, artistic and cultural institutions, joint projects, active engagement with the contemporary art scene, its actors and communities.
The tasks and competences of the Artpool Art Research Center
(Extract from the Rules of Organisation and Operation of the Museum of Fine Arts)
It collects, preserves, processes and makes available for scientific research the new art movements and trends that have emerged since the 1960s (fluxus, performance art, conceptual art, visual poetry, radio and sound art, electronic art, artist's book, artist's stamp, computer graphics, multimedia, mail art, public art, gender, etc.), as well as original documents, artistic products or written, visual or aural material of any kind produced by reproduction, and their literature, from the progressive or unofficial Hungarian artistic endeavours of the period from the 1970s onwards (including underground art events, venues and groups, underground and contemporary music, samizdat art publications, etc.).
It participates in the implementation of KEMKI's research, exhibition and other scientific plans, and expands the Institute's international professional relations in line with the "Active Archive" concept.