The history of Camilla day in Artpool

We devoted the year 1999 to the study of artistic context. I took the kick-off motto from Derrida: “Every sign, linguistic or nonlinguistic, spoken or written […] can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby it can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion.”

By coincidence István Hajdu’s volume titled “Sooner-or-later, rag carpet to the Avant-garde”, the debut of which we had agreed to be in the year of context, was completed by Christmas. The most suitable day between the two festive periods, Christmas and New Year’s Day, happened to be 28 December. I started to do some research to find out if this day perchance could provide me with a contextual opportunity in regard to the upcoming book presentation.

The name celebrated on 28 December is Camilla (the female version of the Latin Camillus,
which means a boy of noble descent serving at the offerings.)
Chamomile is also the name of a herb with multiple benefits. Its infusion can be applied internally and externally. It is also used as a curative disinfectant.
In the Catholic calendar 28 December is the holy innocents’ day, commemorating the massacre of the innocents by Herod. In folk tradition this day is connected with an archaic form of wishing good luck, i.e. of whipping someone with a twig (it was mostly children who went around the homes and flogged the people of the house). The twig is the symbol of life.

Hajdu did not tell us anything about his book apart from its enigmatic and slightly depressing title, which I tried to decipher, but to no avail. The chamomile, the massacre of the innocents and whipping with a cane, used as an archaic form of wishing good luck, were all linked to this and, the chamomile in particular brought Miklós Erdély to mind (cotton balls dipped in chamomile tea), which association was reinforced by the notion of twigs (Brushwood is the Proletarian of Fuel) as a symbol of life. Suddenly I started missing all those ‘massacred, innocent’ pieces of information about Miklós Erdély that will probably never be put in context anywhere in these accelerating times.

I had never before founded a memorial day and another thing that restrained me from going ahead with this idea was that Robert Filliou declared 17 January (his birthday) the Birthday of Art, in the spirit of the Fête Permanente. In the end, I decided to regard the name day of Camilla, in a non-mandatory way and in secret, as the spiritual birthday of Miklós Erdély. That is how the first Camilla day was celebrated in 1999. The first club day was held in 2000 under the name of Camilla Day CHANCE CLUB, which was followed in 2002 by a series of CHANCE CLUBS, the last of which is again on Camilla day.

I believe it good when things only subtly touch upon each other and meet indirectly, like Vilém Flusser and Miklós Erdély in this case.

(György Galántai)

Camilla day 2003 - MEMORY OF THE THIRD KIND - THE CONNECTION - Memories, those who remember and some documents and conversations about what people who can mutually influence each other are like - SÁNDOR ALTORJAI and MIKLÓS ERDÉLY.

Camilla day 2004 - the ME-mories of re-ME-mbering - “EM rhizome” - What can the enculturation of faith be in art? - Miklós Erdély (1994–2004) - video fragments and web pages.

Camilla day 2005 - InDiGo CluB type CAsE - for the researchability of Miklós Erdély’s oeuvre - virtual ME-morial house - The host of the evening asking questions on behalf of the new generation is: Péter Fuchs - The main question is: Do the oeuvre, spirit and works of Miklós Erdély still have relevance? If they do, why? If they don’t, why?

Camilla day 2006 - Ágnes Háy simultaneously screening all her films, with the title From the Story of My Idleness. The debut of Pigeons of Russell Square).

I think it’s very important that I am a continuation. I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t met the people I did.. If I respect someone, that will make us both grow. Thus, one gets into a larger space, which is also helpful against claustrophobia. [...] I was everywhere, I was sitting at the corner of the table like a glove, as Miklós Erdély described it. I was listening and I thought that the adults understood everything, and if I grew up, I would also understand everything. And then, when I grew up, I realised that nobody agrees with anybody, so there is no understanding.”

Camilla day 2012- Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle integral 1998–2005–2012 - Artpool Letter - We revisited the realised, the half-realised and the unrealised events, and looked at the story of Miklós Erdély’s publications and works. As a result, we renovated the 2005 “ME-mory house”-at. (In Dániel Erdély’s opinion: “The problem is that there is too much envy – it is concealed by ‘professionalism’ and ‘worry’.”)