Fluxus East

Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe

György Galántai

1941, born in Bikács, Hungary
Lives in Budapest and Kapolcs

From 1963 to 1967, Galántai studied painting at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest. From 1970 to 1973, he was the initiator and organiser of semi-legal exhibitions, actions and happenings in the chapel of Balatonboglár, which he had rented from the Catholic Church; this was finally closed down by the police. Subsequently, Galántai’s artistic activities were restricted and tightly monitored. In 1970, Galántai abandoned painting and began to experiment, primarily with graphic art, visual poetics, sound poetry, performance and Mail Art. In 1975, he created his first sculptures using soles/footprints, which became a very important element of his artistic work. He participated in the Creativity Exercises of Miklós Erdély and Dóra Maurer in 1976/77.

In 1978, Galántai distributed a poster world-wide, on which he had written: “Please send me information about your activity”. The great response from artists outside Hungary inspired Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay to found the illegal Artpool archive, which became the most important centre of documentation and research focusing on Mail Art and Fluxus in Central Eastern Europe and continued the tradition of the chapel exhibitions in Balatonboglár. From the 1980s onwards, the documentation was extended to include the Hungarian avantgarde; at the same time, Artpool became an events location and began to publish magazines. After 1989, the archive was opened to the public, and since 1992 it has received financial support as a research institute from the city of Budapest.

György Galántai received a fellowship from the DAAD in 1988/89 and was guest artist at Arizona State University in 1990. As well as sculptural objects, he works with film, video, computer graphics and photocopies, and he has also been incorporating the Internet into his artistic work since the 1990s.

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