Artpool Art Research Center

Artpool Art Research Center is an avant-garde and contemporary art project and archive, which was founded in 1979 by György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay in Budapest. Our 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, such as artist books, artistamp, mail art, visual poetry, sound poetry, installation, and performance. Artpool was founded upon the legacy of György Galántai’s Chapel Studio (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), under the leadership of art historian and researcher Emese Kürti. In this new institutional environment, the practice of artistic research is linked to the art historical research methods. Transnational discourses and collaborations, strategies of (self-)historicization of Central and Eastern European art scenes, the institutionalization of underground initiatives, and their role played in contemporary art have come to the forefront of our inquiries. In practice, this means that we initiate local and international cooperations, publications, and exhibitions by nurturing and expanding Artpool’s extensive artistic and academic network. Our goal is to preserve Artpool's experimental values, the symbiosis of art and research, and to connect these to current issues of curatorial, art historical, and artistic practices. Artpool wishes to maintain a cooperative relationship with the contemporary art scene, and its actors and communities. Relying on its avant-garde and dissident past, it continues to be a critical agent in regional and international discourses.