Artpool Art Research Center
The Artpool Art Research Center is a non-profit institution which was opened in 1992. It is located in the center of Budapest. It houses a public library, multimedia archives and the Artpool P60 exhibition space. Its main agenda is research into and theoretical analysis of changes in and results of recent trends in the Hungarian and international art scenes. Artpool hopes to further the creation of new artistic values by organizing different exhibitions and lectures and by providing information on the Artpool website.
The Artpool Art Research Center focuses its research and documentation activities on new trends in contemporary art, various new media, and relations between society and art and between art and everyday life.
Artpool’s activities including receiving and spreading information, collecting and preserving documents, and publishing materials. Using the archive creatively is another aim.
The Artpool Art Research Center today is a model for similar research centers in its use of archival processes in complex art projects which connect the past the and present to work on future, as yet unanswerable questions concerning culture.
The roots of Artpool go back to the Chapel Studio exhibitions held in artist György Galántai's Chapel Studio in Balatonboglár from 1970 to 1973. Balatonboglár is a small village in Hungary near Lake Balaton. By the time it was closed by the police in 1973, the Chapel Studio had become a center for officially proscribed avantgarde art and, as has since become clear, one of the cradles of cultural change in Hungary.
In 1979, György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay established Artpool with the dedicated aim of creating an alternative art institution able to make room for new trends in art. At the time, the Hungarian public was denied access to contemporary art practices which did not conform with official cultural policy. Artpool, acting tactically as a “pseudo institution” and based in a private flat in Budapest, suffered periodic bans but on the whole was tolerated. It organized many exhibitions and art events in different places, and it published several art catalogues and the Artpool Letter, a samizdat art magazine which is now the sole documentary source on the non-official art of those years. Artpool aimed to stimulate dialogue and mutual exchange of knowledge between Hungarian contemporary artists and their counterparts abroad both by publishing and documenting their work and creating an archive which would provide future generations with inspiration.
Following the political changes of 1989, Artpool, which already had an international reputation, was officially recognized and was opened to the public as a non-profit organization. Its financial operation was based on contracts with the Budapest Municipal Council and the Ministry of Human Resources through two NGOs, the Artpool Foundation, and the Artpool Non-profit Ltd. Due to the changes in cultural policy and the cuts in the state cultural budget in 2010, the Center lost the City’s support, and in 2014 it lost state support, which threw into question the future of the archive. In 2015, following prolonged negotiations, Artpool became a separate unit of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, thus ensuring its survival.
1061 Budapest Liszt Ferenc tér 10 , Magyarország
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Date of founding
Type of organisation
- other non-profit organization
Author(s) of this page
- Beöthy, Balázs
- Klaniczay, Júlia