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Artpool 40 – Active Archives and Art Networks
Conference and Symposium
February 20–21, 2020

Artpool Art Research Center, Central European Research Institute of Art History – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

The international conference and symposium celebrates the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Artpool and its concurrent relocation to the Central European Research Institute of Art History at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.
It aims to map the cultural-political-historical contexts of Artpool's activity by bringing together scholars and practitioners interested in transnational research on artist archives, progressive curatorial and museological practices, and the historiography of Cold War art scenes and networks.

The conference takes Artpool’s 1979 concept of an ‘Active Archive’ as a starting point to explore its contemporary interpretations and applications, and its similarities with and differences from other artist archives. As Artpool’s founder György Galántai puts it, an active archive “generates the very material to be archived” through calls for participation, co-operation, exchange, and building of non-hierarchical networks, as well as through combining art historical and artistic methodologies of research. An active archive is future-oriented and employs a dynamic approach to history “as an open artwork and as activist artistic practice”. The main activity of Artpool to this day is conducting non-medium specific research into the role of art in ever changing social and political contexts.

In this spirit, we invite scholars and practitioners to propose new museological, curatorial, academic, or artistic perspectives and methodologies that allow the consideration of archival practice as a creative and active form of researching art and artistic visions of the future.

Confirmed speakers include: Zdenka Badovinac (Moderna galerija, Ljubljana), Judit Bodor (Glasgow School of Art), David Crowley (National College of Art and Design, Dublin), Cristina Freire (University of São Paulo), Péter György (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest), Emese Kürti (Artpool Art Research Center), Sven Spieker (University of California), Kristine Stiles (Duke University)

Key questions:

Artist Archives as Institutions of ‘Parallel Culture’

Correspondence Art and Artist Networks

Historicization and Self-Historicization

Archives as Artistic Medium


To propose a 20-minute paper, please send an approx. 500-word abstract and your CV with a list of your recent publications
by September 30, 2019

The conference and symposium is organized by Júlia Klaniczay, Dr. Emese Kürti, and Zsuzsa László from Artpool Art Research Center – Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Dr. Judit Bodor (Glasgow School of Art) and Dr. Beáta Hock (Universität Leipzig).

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