The Poïpoïdrome in Budapest: A Case Study in Curating Changeability in Contemporary Art

Judit Bodor and Roddy Hunter
Robert Filliou; Joachim Pfeufer; László Beke; György Galántai; Júlia Klaniczay; Artpool Art Research Centre; Artpool Periodical SPace (APS); Artpool P60; Young Artists Club; Budapest; curating; curatorial practice; paper architecture; authorship; authenticity; permanent creation; cultural appropriation.


This article discusses two separate realisations of Robert Filliou and Joachim Pfeufer’s artwork The Poïpoïdrome in Budapest in 1976 and 1998 as a case study for curating a contemporary exhibition of a historic but inherently ‘changeable’ artwork. We introduce The Poïpoïdrome and position its Budapest manifestations 22 years apart as two important moments within its broader exhibition history. In reflecting on both its first exhibition at the Young Artists’' Club in 1976 and its later re-emergence as part of Artpool Art Research Centre’s “Year of Installation” at Artpool P60, we introduce the critical lens of ‘changeability’ through which to evaluate the afterlives of environments and happenings in collections and exhibitions. We highlight the importance of understanding the work’s specific conceptual and material properties in developing a curatorial approach capable of preserving its inherent ‘changeability’ and resisting simple medium-specific and art historical classification. The Poïpoïdrome is constructed conceptually and physically as a polymorphous environment in and through which to explore Filliou’s concept of ‘Permanent Creation’. The exhibition history of the work comprises both different versions and variations created by Filliou and Pfeufer and later reworkings of these in galleries and museums after Filliou’s death. The Poïpoïdrome thus exemplifies that which Hanna B. Hölling calls ‘changeability’, defined as an “artwork’s potential to transform from one condition, appearance, or constitution to another.”1 The inherently changeable materiality of post-avant-garde art challenges the traditional role of conservation to mitigate against material change, loss or damage. Curatorial practice becomes an explicitly significant dimension of the work’s production at each occasion of its restaging, thus raising questions of ‘authenticity’ and ‘authorship’. As The Poïpoïdrome is a work in flux, when and how can it be understood to begin and end? What curatorial challenges exist in its restaging or reconstruction when each of its manifestations is arguably unique? Also, what how do the curatorial approaches in 1976 and 1998 both differ and overlap, and what can be learnt about the work as a result?

Object fragment from Robert Filliou – Joachim Pfeufer: Poïpoïdrome à Espace-Temps Réel No.1 / The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No. 1., Young Artists’ Club, Budapest 1976. Photo: Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Center – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

The Poïpoïdrome, 1963–1975: Concepts, Designs, Prototypes

Conceived in 1963 The Poïpoïdrome was envisaged by Filliou and Pfeufer as an “ambulant physical environment” to express “the functional relation of thinking, activity, and communication” through “action and reflection” in art and life. 2 The title of the work is a playful linguistic combination of two words, ‘poi-poi’ and ‘drome’. ‘Poipoi’, explains Filliou, features in conversation between Dogon people of Mali when asked for example ‘How is your cow?’ ‘And how is your field?’ ‘And how is your eldest son?’3 . ‘Drome’, by contrast, is used in homage to the symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud’s desire “to find a language”4 that extends orthodox linguistic structures and whose Forest of Vowels is referred to in the leaflet accompanying the 1978 exhibition, “Le Poïpoïdrome. Hommage aux Dogons et aux Rimbauds”, at the Centre Pompidou Centre, Paris. Filliou also created his own alphabet for The Poïpoïdrome and suggested creative exchange through objects and images as visual triggers.5 As such The Poïpoïdrome intends to be a context for creative cross-cultural exchange playfully destabilising learnt restrictions in language. Filliou considered the Dogon usage of ‘poi-poi’ as “reflective and active communication that can always be started, finished, started again, thereby giving expression to the process of Permanent Creation.”6 The broader concept of Permanent Creation is important in connection with The Poïpoïdrome. Conceived at least in part as a response to his wife Marianne’s observation that “you're artists only when you create [and so once] you’re thru’ creating, you’re not artists any more”. Filliou realised that:

Creation is not enough. One must not stop creating. One can’t afford to. That’s it, I thought. What I must share with everyone is the knack of Permanent Creation [through] ‘An Institute of Permanent Creation’, hence The Poïpoïdrome.7

Filliou had previously used the term Poïpoï as the title of his first solo exhibition in 1961 at Galerie Köpcke, Copenhagen, and an action poem in 1963 at Galerie de Fleuve bookshop, Paris. Like La Cédille qui Sourit (‘The cedilla that smiles’) – a ‘non-shop’ he ran with George Brecht between 1965–8 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France – Filliou proposed The Poïpoïdrome as a ‘Centre of Permanent Creation’; a meeting place for creative and pedagogic exchange and communication.

Unlike work defined by fixed and portable objecthood, the conceptual, material and social dimensions of The Poïpoïdrome are changeable. Filliou and Pfeufer seemingly wanted to preserve that mutability by changing the work’s appearance with every realisation, as evidenced through the work’s iterations over time. Initially realised through small-scale maquettes, including a version now in the collection of Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, another seen in the 1964 “Arts d'Extrème Occident” exhibition at the Museum Verviers, Belgium,8 and another still in “Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts”.9 Later, The Poïpoïdrome was presented as a collection of objects in the exhibition “La Cédille Qui Sourit”, curated by Johannes Cladders at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, 1969, and then as The Poïpoïdrome and a Rocket curated by Harald Szeemann in the ‘Individual Mythologies’ section of Documenta V, Kassel, 1972. At Documenta it was exhibited alongside Principe d’equivalence (Principle of Equivalence) (1986), another key work of Filliou’s, 1968’s Principe d’equivalence (Principle of Equivalence), which equates the values of ‘well-made’ (bien-fait), ‘badly made’ (mal-fait) and ‘not made’ (pas-fait) in the growth of every idea. The principle of equivalence was a conceptual driving force behind many of Filliou’s proposals for Permanent Creation including The Poïpoïdrome.

As a conceptual structure, or arguably ‘paper architecture’, Filliou conceived the dimensions of the “optimum” Poïpoïdrome as “a building 24 metres square, open to all visitors, and consisting in [sic] four main rooms: THE POIPOI […] THE ANTIPOIPOI […] THE POSTPOIPOI […], THE POIPOIDROME AS SUCH.”10 In this plan Filliou imagined a series of encounters for the visitor. In THE POIPOI, s/he is confronted, for example, with “a wheel 5 metres in diameter [with the inscription of] ART IS WHAT ARTISTS DO”.11 In THE ANTIPOIPOI there is “Shakespeare on a Vespa, […] the cheese that someone will be eating the day of the Apocalypse, the stick with which Jesus will chase the Pope from Rome, the menstrual tampax that will be worn by the first woman in space […] Also, rising to the ceiling is the POIPOI ROCKET”.12 In THE POSTPOIPOI, “the Poipoi spirit is applied to the individualisation of several disciplines such as: – Anatomy […] ‘The Kingdom od [sic] Arts is Within You’ [and] – Christianity Today: The New Testament is nailed on the wooden cross, which is used as a support for all the tools that went into the making of the cross”.13 Finally, THE POIPOIDROME AS SUCH is “an arena where seats have been disposed around a gigantic egg, the Poipegg” and where “the circuit ends, here the visitor meditates, absorbs, conceives.”14 Filliou also notes that “besides these four main rooms there will be a Poipoinursery, […] the Poipoithèque, [and] The Prepoipoi [and] a mobile version […b]uilt inside a truck […to] roam around the world.”15

In 1975, the ‘prototype’ physical structure Le Poïpoïdrome Ambulant 00 is featured in the group exhibition “12x1” at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels comprising a freestanding physical structure alongside a drawing in the accompanying publication ½ + ½ = Filliou/Pfeufer. This publication also announces the establishment of The Poipoi Foundation to realise The Poïpoïdrome as a “real space-time” structure and introduces the “wandering” Poïpoïdrome, through which “the spirit of Permanent Creation can blow wherever and however it desires” and through which others can create their own Poïpoïdrome, whether as an imagined space, an “open mind” or a physical space, such as an “armchair or a house”. 16 Following its realisation in Budapest in 1976, Filliou and Pfeufer continued to develop the work in its ‘real space-time’ incarnation in Nantes, 1977, Reykjavik 1978 and then a second prototype in Paris, 1978. After Filliou’s death Pfeufer realised three more editions between 1993 and 2000, of which the last was described as a new edition of the 1975 00 prototype and bought by the Museum of Modern Art Lyon with Pfeufer’s permission for future reinstallations.

Somewhere amidst the complexity of the work’s realisation in its different conceptual and physical states, between its conception and perception, between its ‘optimum’ and ‘prototype’ versions, there is the question of its production, its materialisation. Similar to Joseph Kosuth’s 1965 One and Three Chairs, comprising a chair, a photograph of the chair, and the dictionary definition of the word ‘chair’, The Poïpoïdrome is materialised as object, representation and concept at once. Still, an attempt to express the vastness of Permanent Creation in its ‘optimum’ form through its representation as a sculptural prototype seems an overly formal and idealised stance; too obscure, too removed, too opaque to be playful. It lacks the social experience of the real-time event as produced by, what Henri Lefebvre has described as, the “three moments of social space”17, which encompass the idealism of ‘conceived space’, the materialism of ‘perceived space’ and the notion of ‘lived space’, which “embodies both elements without being reducible to either”.18 The next manifestation of the work (The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No 1.) in Budapest is particularly significant in The Poïpoïdrome’s evolution from conceived space (concept) through perceived space (prototype) to lived space (real space-time) within the particular cultural, geographic and urban location of Budapest. In other words, The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No 1. locates and situates the conceptual, almost imagined, architecture of The Poïpoïdrome in relation to the social milieu of a particular city and realises the work for the first time as a participatory architectural environment.

The Poïpoïdrome in Budapest, László Beke, 1976

Artist Zsigmond Károlyi at the opening of Robert Filliou and Joachim Pfeufer’s The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No.01 (Poïpoïdrome à espace-temps réel n o 1), Budapest, Young Artists’ Club, 17 September 1976. Photo: G. Fazekas. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Centre  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Filliou and Pfeufer realised the first edition (No.01) of The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome at the Young Artists’ Club in Budapest at the invitation of its then Director László Beke, who knew Filliou’s work through reading ‘Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts’ and wanted to introduce his ideas to Hungarian artists and students.19 Photographic documentation of the event on 17 September 1976 show the work as a sculptural installation comprised of wooden slats suspended vertically from the ceiling and laid horizontally on the floor, creating a three-dimensional grid structure. [Fig.2] Suspended throughout this structure were photographs documenting daily life in the city alongside everyday objects such as eggs, and a blank Interflug20 plane ticket attached to a piece of wood on which Filliou and Pfeufer, presumably, inscribed in Hungarian “Aktualizációk: Liszt Ferenccel repültem Berlin Schonefeldrõl Budapestre” (Update: “I flew with Ferenc Liszt from Berlin Schönefeld to Budapest”). Formally, the latter object is reminiscent of Filliou’s “suspense-poems”21 and gains poignancy both as Cold War ephemera of East German aviation and in juxtaposing the desire for and ability to travel between East and West Europe and vice versa. The photographs of daily life in Budapest are particularly interesting from the perspective of considering Lefebvre’s ‘perceived space’ documenting the daily routine of an urban reality of work and play, labour and rest, production and consumption throughout the city’s public spaces. Each photograph is stamped with the text ‘l’art est ce que font les artistes / art is what artists do’ suggesting that Filliou regarded the city as a space for creativity and thus its inhabitants as artists and their social practices as art. [Fig.1] A naïve assertion, perhaps, but one fully in line with Filliou’s Zen-like sense of finding enlightenment in the everyday. The 1976 Poïpoïdrome can be considered then among postwar conceptual art practices described by art historian Anna Dezeuze as adopting “a bricolage model to set up open systems in which new relations between art and the everyday could be articulated.”22 This “spatialized form of bricolage” in which the artists “hand the bricoleur’s tools directly over to the viewer-participant”23 marks an evolution of the socialisation of aesthetic space and experience.

In a recorded conversation with László Beke as part of the event24, Filliou and Pfeufer describe The Poïpoïdrome as being fundamentally “about travel”’ (hence, perhaps, the Interflug ticket) and having the ability to manifest itself as a nomadic centre for Permanent Creation in different forms and shapes across a range of sites, situations and importantly communities of artists. Importantly also Filliou talks about the Budapest invitation as an opportunity to realise the work outside a museum context and to transcend static installation to become a social space for a participatory event. In the context of 1970s state socialist Hungary, The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No 1. became a social space for the Budapest post-avant-garde milieu including Tibor Hajas, György Jovánovics, Gábor Bódy, Gergely Molnár, Ágnes Gyetvai and, as we’ll discuss, György Galántai. The official status of the exhibition opening at The Young Artists’ Club as a “tolerated” space would have interested Filliou as a former member of the French Communist party, which he left in 1948.

The Poïpoïdrome, György Galántai and The Artpool Periodical Space, 1979–1998

Robert Filliou: Father of the Eternal Network. Postcard made in 1977 for “Image Bank Postcard Show.” Sent to Artpool on 26 August 1979. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Centre  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

György Galántai was present at the 1976 event but only developed a correspondence with Filliou from September 1979. In March of that year, he circulated a poster-catalogue of his 1978 exhibition throughout the international mail art network to announce the formation of the Artpool Archive in Budapest by asking “send me information about your activity.”25 Filliou’s response was a postcard picturing himself as ‘The Father of the Eternal Network’ asking Galántai to make a poster to exhibit at the entrance of the Young Artist’s Club, Budapest, displaying the text:


fond remembrance

warm wishes


ROBERT FILLIOU – September 1979

The postcard is part of a series of works that Filliou titled Telepathic Music. It is an archival and performative document; simultaneously a recollection of the 1976 meeting, a score for an event (‘have a poster made […] hang it at the entrance’) and a “telepathic exchange” between artists in the East and the West. The postcard initially was Filliou’s contribution to the 1977 Image Bank Postcard Show, an international network project by Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov aiming “to create a collaborative, process-based project in the hopes of engendering a shared creative consciousness”26 [Fig.3]. Sending the Image Bank postcard to Galántai in 1979 demonstrates Filliou’s recognition of Artpool as a new node emerging in “The Eternal Network”, often understood at that time as synonymous with the international mail art community. Galántai made the poster and hung it ‘unnoticed for a month on the announcement board of the Young Artists’ Club […] as the first manifestation of Artpool’s Periodical Space’27 (APS), as an artistic-archival-curatorial practice through which to align his activity with the spirit of Permanent Creation and “The Eternal Network” [Fig.4]. APS became Artpool’s main curatorial-archival framework between 1979–1991 for antecedent activities of the “active archive”. The Active Archive – as an open institution artwork – developed through exchange and realised in multiple formats such as exhibitions, events, publications and the web.

Artpool Periodical Space (APS) no.1: Robert Filliou: Telepathic Music. Poster made by György Galántai in response to Filliou’s postcard, Young Artists’ Club, Budapest, September 1979. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Centre  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

In 1998 Artpool organised “The Year of Installation” as part of its series of annual projects dedicated to the research of concepts through curatorial activities such as “The Year of Performance” (1995), “Art on The Internet” (1996) and “The Year of The Network” (1997). Artpool’s research around installation developed through an internationally circulated questionnaire and an open call. The material collected over the year became part of Artpool’s archive and was made public online through alongside a print publication, and an exhibition which included photographic and video documentation of installations and conceptual ideas and plans and was presented in the framework of an International Installation Festival that marked the opening of P60, Artpool’s new exhibition space.28 As part of the exhibition, Artpool also reconstructed The Poïpoïdrome from the object remains that the artists gifted in 1976 to the Young Artists’ Club and were deposited by László Beke at the Museum of Fine Arts.29 As remembered in 2016 by both Galántai and Beke The Poïpoïdrome in 1998 was just “a pile of wooden slats and some photos” in a box, which at one point – anecdotally repeated – was almost disposed by the Museum’s cleaner as rubbish.30 Artpool borrowed the objects from the Museum and – given the lack of instructions or drawings – reconstructed the installation using photographs of the 1976 event by György Fazekas. The 1998 reconstruction process led to the cataloguing of all the remaining elements of the installation making The Poïpoïdrome available for further research and re-exhibitions.31 It also revealed other contextual documents relating to the 1976, which provided the basis of new web pages dedicated to Filliou and the history of what became known as The Budapest Poïpoïdrome on Artpool’s website.32

Although the preservation of material remains, information and documentation provided invaluable insight regarding the history of The Budapest Poïpoïdrome, we still need to ask how the reconstruction related to the ideas behind the work especially regarding participation, creative exchange, communication, action and reflection. Here Galántai’s curatorial design for the Installation Festival exhibition at P60, which gave the context for exhibiting the reconstruction, might give us an answer [Fig. 5]. Positioning the installation in the front of the exhibition space Galántai extended its grid-like design across the whole exhibition space of P60 by using a wire structure. He then used this structure to display documents and mail art works received from around the world in response to his questionnaire and documents already in Artpool’s archive.

The Budapest Poïpoïdrome [reconstruction] as positioned within

Galántai’s 1998 grid-like exhibition design for the Installation Festival at Artpool P60. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Center  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Talking about his curatorial approach Galántai remarked how the exhibition design translates the networked nature of the works presented:

The artistic products coming from different countries are linked to each other according to their content, erasing the borders between countries.

Just like on the net, in the context of the installation strongly related things move away from each other, and the apparently distant ones become associated. There is no need of explanation, everybody understands his own version and information will be based on personal horizons of expectations. This multi-linearity is essential to all functioning installation.33

Similar to how enacting Filliou’s request in 1979 inspired the launch of Artpool Periodical Space (APS) as an ambulant space for permanent creativity and exchange, the 1998 reconstruction of The Poïpoïdrome created a material and conceptual basis for establishing P60, Artpool’s exhibition space as a new centre for Permanent Creation. The reconstructed installation collapsed the historical time of the 1976 The Poïpoïdrome with the real space-time of 1998. Visitors in 1976 saw their own everyday reality incorporated in the installation through photographs and were encouraged to interact and physically alter the work [Fig.6].

Visitor interaction at the opening of Robert Filliou and Joachim Pfeufer’s The Real Space-Time Poïpoïdrome No.01 (Poïpoïdrome à espace-temps réel n o 1), Budapest, Young Artists’ Club, 17 September 1976. Photo: G. Fazekas. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Centre  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Their comments on the photographs, traces of paint marks on the slats became part of the work’s materiality and need to be protected as part of a museum collection. Visitors in 1998 were only able to participate as far as ‘being present’ within the installation but their understanding of the photographs and the installation itself was from a distance as witnesses of a historical art object. Given the current status of The Budapest Poïpoïdrome as part of a museum collection, Artpool needed to approach participation in a way that protects the authorship of Filliou and Pfeufer by preserving its previous material condition, while at the same time aligns conceptually with the work as a space for Permanent Creation. To achieve this Artpool invited other artists, such as István Kántor and Jean-Jacques Lebel, to activate the installation through new performances creating a telepathic reference point between the ideas of Filliou and their own actions.

In his Hommage à Robert Filliou performance on 4 April, Jean Jacques-Lebel declaimed a speech in French on Filliou’s work which was translated simultaneously into Hungarian by Artpool’s co-founder Júlia Klaniczay. As Lebel spoke, a Hungarian Roma quartet who he invited into The Poïpoïdrome began playing “music from the streets of Budapest”. As the music became increasingly loud, Lebel began shouting above the music to be heard. Then artist Tibor Papp began dancing, spontaneously, with Júlia Klaniczay while the rest of the audience looked on. When the band stopped, Lebel reprised his address to the audience in English. He described Artpool as “an underground network without internet, just a human network between artists from all around the world”34, which functions well as a description of Filliou’s concept of The Eternal Network and that reinforces the suggestion of Artpool P60 as a Centre of Permanent Creation. Kántor’s performance, Séance Filliou / Filliou Szeánsz35 [Fig.7] on 2 June, also relied on loud sound as a central component, in this case a mesmeric industrial soundtrack made louder by his screaming through a megaphone, summoning the spirit of Filliou, wearing a wire coat hanger on his head as “psychic” or “telepathic antennae” – (perhaps a link to Filliou’s Telepathic Music), and crossing the physical boundary of The Poïpoïdrome to distribute coat hangers to the audience.

István Kántor (alias Monty Cantsin?!, alias “Amen!”): Séance Filliou. Installation for performance within the reconstructed The Budapest Poïpoïdrome, Artpool P60, Budapest, 2 June 1998. Photo: Puppet Government. Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Center  – Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Conclusion: Anthropology, Changeability and Overcoming Autonomy

Galántai’s approach conceives the exhibition as an artwork in its holistic entirety, comparable to his thinking about the active archive as an artwork. The exhibition is a curated environment that in its manner of assembly underpins the discourse of association and interaction between the works exhibited. This approach differs clearly from traditional museological exhibitions which present art objects in chronological, geographical or thematic order and adopts instead an artistic networked sensibility of interrelating images, utterances and ideas. There remains, however, a point of critique in Filliou’s conception of The Poïpoïdrome that Galántai’s reconstruction does not address; the question of the cultural and social anthropological dimensions of The Poïpoïdrome as a ‘lived space’ situated within a particular locale, in this case, Budapest. Notwithstanding Filliou’s question to the anthropologist, “Hey, instead of studying us, why not come over here and have a drink with us?”36, there is an uneasy scenario where the cultural appropriation of African (Dogon) culture, and the social depiction of the urban proletariat of Budapest conflicts with Filliou’s implied claims of an interchangeability of art and life when, in fact, The Poïpoïdrome arguably exists as art framing life than the other way around. This is compounded where the audience primarily comprises artists, for reasons that were perhaps more understandable in 1976 than in 1998. Although the 1998 exhibition is innovative in its design and unorthodox in offering the physical structure of The Poïpoïdrome as a space for new performances (which could probably not happen in a museum), the reconstruction in an avant-garde gallery space arguably draws, again, a social division between art and everyday life, a division exacerbated by the physical boundary of the structure becoming a fourth wall dividing the performance space from its observers during the events performed by Kántor and Lebel. This is the other side of the centre for Permanent Creation as a demarcated space within which creativity beyond art, (returning to Marianne Filliou’s initial observation) is always occurring and is therefore somehow a psychically and aesthetically charged architectural space.

Given the work’s multiple existence through its objects being held in different collections, the question for the future is whether and how The Poïpoïdrome will continue as ‘changeable’ participatory artwork independently from the ‘original’ artists. Artpool’s 1998 realisation is then particularly interesting as a form of reconstruction that aimed to stay true to the experience of the artwork as a participatory environment albeit within the limits of material conservation of the historical Budapest manifestation. Galántai certainly seems to be aware of the curator’s necessary role as creative agent in exhibiting changeable art where – as Hanna Hölling explains – “it is not the artist that exclusively shapes the identity of an artwork but rather the archive on the basis of which decisions are made.” 37 The generative nature of the ‘active archive’ concept seems also congruent with the idea of changeability; the line connecting The Poïpoïdrome first with APS through Telepathic Music and then with Artpool P60 through the 1998 reconstruction relies on both continuity and change to make sense. In this sense, Galántai understands Filliou’s preference for the integration of archival, curatorial, collaborative and participatory strategies in manifesting the concept of Permanent Creation as a horizontally distributive, participatory space-time of uninterrupted creativity, which would overcome the dialectical relationship between art and life, and affirm both work as play and art as organised leisure to critique both alienated labour and alienated art.

Judit Bodor
University of Dundee

Roddy Hunter
University of Huddersfield


1 Hanna B. Hölling, Paik’s Virtual Archive: Time, Change, and Materiality in Media Art. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017), p.76.

2 “The Poipoi Foundation, 1975”, in: Robert Filliou, (Hannover: Sprengel-Museum, 1984), exhibition catalogue, p. 134.

3 Robert Filliou, Teaching and Learning as Performance Arts, (London: Occasional Papers, 2014), facsimile edition of Robert Filliou, Teaching and Learning as Performance Arts (New York-Köln: König, 1970), pp. 191–192.

4 “Arthur Rimbaud | Poetry Foundation”. 2020. Poetry Foundation. [04.05.2020]

5 “Musique Télépathique N°5 – M HKA Ensembles”. 2020. Ensembles.Mhka.Be. Online: http:// [04.04.2020].

6 Günther Berghaus, “Happenings in Europe: Trends, Events, and Leading Figures”, in: Mariellen Sandford (ed.), Happenings and Other Acts, (London & New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 290.

7 Robert Filliou, 2014, p. 191.

8 Yesomi Umolu, The Paradox Of Other-Ism: Unravelling The Poïpoïdrome And Its Fictions From 1963 To 1978. (2010)

9 Filliou, p. 194.

10 Ibid., pp. 193–197.

11 Ibid., p. 193.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid., pp. 193–196.

14 Ibid., p. 197.

15 Ibid.

16 Robert Filliou, Editions and Multiples (Dijon: Les presses du réel, 2003), p. 8.

17 Lefebvre, H., 1991. The Production Of Space. Oxford: Blackwell, p.46.

18 Zhongyuan Zhang, ‘What is Lived Space?’ (ephemera, 2006), p.221. Retrieved from

19 Personal communication with László Beke, November 2016.

20 Interflug was the national airline of East Germany from 1963 to 1990.

21 “Each verse-object was typically a wooden support bearing a small object and text label, its top and bottom equipped with metal hooks and eyes allowing successive verses to be suspended below.” Natilee Harren, “La cédille qui ne finit pas: Robert Filliou, George Brecht, and Fluxus in Villefranche,” in Getty Research Journal, Nr. 4. Retrieved from

22 Anna Dezeuze, “Assemblage, Bricolage, and the Practice of Everyday Life,” in Art Journal, Vol. 67, Nr. 1, 2008, p. 33.

23 Ibid.

24 Beke, László. 1976. Interview with Robert Filliou and Joachim Pfeufer. Online: [12.03.2020]

25 “Biography” in Galántai, G. and Klaniczay, J. (eds.), Galántai – Életmunkák / Lifeworks 1968–1993 (Budapest: Artpool and Budapest: Enciklopédia, 1996), p. 303.

26 The Image Bank – as Morris/Trasov Archive – is now housed at The Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver.

27 Galántai, G. and Klaniczay, J. eds. ARTPOOL – The Experimental Art Archive of East-Central Europe: History of an active archive for producing, networking, curating, and researching art since 1970 (Budapest: Artpool Art Research Center, 2013), p.36.

28 Planned between 17 March – 4 April, the exhibition at Artpool P60 lasted until 2 June 1998.

29 The collection is now in ‘Post 1800 Art’. Ref. no. L.8.023. Email correspondence with Lászlo Beke and Ferenc Tóth, November 2016.

30 Email correspondence with Galántai and Beke during October 2016.

31 Since 1998 Artpool has re-exhibited the installation again as part of “Fluxus East. Fluxus Networks in Central and Eastern Europe” exhibition (Berlin: Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 2007).

32 The Budapest Poipoidrome on [12.03.2020].

33 [04.06.2020].

34 [04.06.2020].

35 [04.06.2020].

36 Filliou, p. 87.

37 Hanna B. Hölling, “Archival Turn” in Rasa Smite, Data Drift: Archiving Media And Data Art In The 21st Century, (Riga & Liepaja: RIXC, LiepU MPLab, 2015), p. 88.


Judit Bodor is Baxter Fellow in Curatorial Practice at the School of Art & Design. The ‘Extended Life’ of Performance: Curating 1960s Multimedia Art in the Contemporary Museum (Brill Studies in Art & Materiality, 2019), Left Performance Histories (Berlin: nGbK, 2018, Silent Explosion: The Making of an Exhibition (London: Occasional Papers, 2015).

Roddy Hunter is director of Teaching & Learning at the School of Art & Design. Beyond “East” and “West” through The Eternal Network: Networked Artists’ Communities as Counter-publics of Cold War Europe (Routledge, 2018), The Paradox of Performance: From the Poetics of Ephemerality to the Politics of Materiality (Poznań: University of the Arts, 2016), Curating the Network-as-Artwork after Globalisation (Riga: Acoustic Space, 2016).

Suggested Citation

Bodor, Judit, Hunter, Roddy. 2020. “The Poïpoïdrome in Budapest: A Case Study in Curating Changeability in Contemporary Art.” Sandra Frimmel, Tomáš Glanc, Sabine Hänsgen, Katalin Krasznahorkai, Nastasia Louveau, Dorota Sajewska, Sylvia Sasse (eds.). 2020. Doing Performance Art History. Open Apparatus Book I. DOI:


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