AL Actual / Alternative / Artpool Letter

11 issues of a bookwork like samizdat art magazine published in 1983-1985 by Artpool in Hungarian
(with summaries in English) about art events and art people in Hungary and abroad.

AL 1, AL 2, AL 3, AL 4, AL 5, AL 6,
AL 7, AL 8, AL 9, AL 10, AL 11

AL 1. (January 1983) - SUMMARY       

1. Cover: Ben Vautier: Everything must be said (in Hungarian)

2. ARTPOOL'S ART TOUR (excerpts)

During the summer of 1982 Artpool (Julia and György Galántai) toured Europe visiting several artist friends and acquaintances. This is a personal account of the opening of Martial Raysse's exhibition in Antibes, the people present, and the meeting with Ben Vautier. You will also find some parts of the great Face to Face debate and exhibition, ‘Nice’, 10 July, 1982. The themes were: new realism, attitude art and free figuration. The discussion was presided by the Paris critic, Otto Hahn [read the article].

12. Lecture by Miklós Szentkuthy: DADA IN HUNGARY on the occasion of the opening the exhibition of the same title.

Miklós Szentkuthy (born 1909); a witness, creator and reformer of the avantgarde of the 20s recalls his memories and concepts. The exhibition mainly displayed printed documents and art magazines (Ma, Tett, Dokumentum) of the period beside manifestos and prints - it revealed that Dada's spirit is still unique and instructive in the culture of this century.

19. WHO’S THE VICTIM? WHO DID IT? WHAT SHOULD BE DONE? Lecture by Ákos Birkás (born 1941), painter in Studio Rabinec 17 December 1982, at the opening of his exhibition.

31, Part 2 of previous lecture, 30 December.

Birkás lectured on the death of the avantgarde: he compared the neoavantgarde of the West and Hungary from a brand new point of view, analyzing the dominant attitudes of artists in the last 20 years while taking into account art institutions and power. He also analyzed the causes that formed international and Hungarian avantgarde and the ones that hindered its further development and finally led to its fall. Hungarian avantgarde today finds itself in a moral crisis which brings along corrupted moral norms within the avantgarde. Ákos Birkás concluded his lecture with a list of different possible attitudes of artists and drew the attention - in the tone of a confession - to the possibilities of a prophetic Christian art.

(We actually decided to start AL after listening to this revealing lecturer.)

42. Interview with Zsiga Károlyi (born 1951) on 11 January 1983, one day before the opening of an exhibition of his latest paintings at Studio Rabinec.

The excerpt in AL is a deep-interview and confession on the circumstances, expectations, and plans of his generation, as well as on possibilities to carry these plans out. The interview also touches questions of the ethics of art education, of the contradictions of social expectations, and of the processes and mood in which he created his new pictures.

48. Dedication by György Galántai:

“The aim of this letter is to present some untamed and unupdated ideas you usually do not bother to put down, because writing needs strong concepts and much correction, and is thus less spontaneous

This letter is an improvisation in a field that is perhaps not just of my own interest. Therefore, it is a rare document at the same time. It does not wish to be either more or less than a letter.

Best wishes, Budapest, January, 1983 György Galántai”