Plágium2000, Budapest, 2008-


Notes about multiples (english summary)

„In theory they have no copyright as Fluxus work, anyone can produce or reproduce them.”László Beke



In the begining part of the text we plagiarized a text from Matthias Bunge who writes in „Sculpturesque thinking (?)”[2] (Plastische denken) that to understand the meaning of an artifact in the sense of Beuys retinal seeing is not enough one would need to see the intellectual connections, context, too.

About this way of seeing artworks Bunge quotes Beuys mostly about his multiple Intuition[3]. Beuys is talking about works he have done which are understandable just in an intuitional attitude. In this sense the multiples wanted to incite people to raise questions.

The goal for Beuys was perturbation: disorder would occur when faceing the multiple’s apparent unartistic character and the lack of obvious political content. Beuys thinks that people may be inspired by this to create their own such works so to experience the avantgardist slogan he used often too: „everybody is an artist.”

Those beautifull sixties

In this part we point to one antecedent of multiples and bookworks which appeared in the sixties. We point on Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise[4] which is a work first done in 1934 containing all of his significant works in small size (we also mention his Green Box).

Here we plagiarize Clive Phillpot „Books from contemporary artists”[5] where he writes about Dieter Roth. He writes that multiples in the begining wouldn’t mean 2dimensional prints that much but rather 3dimensional objects from cheap materials easy to reproduce. We cite Beuys who said somewhere that he was happy to use this democratic structure which allows also the poor students to collect artworks.

But for the multiple to born as a democratically consumable genre there should be a people’s antecedent a kind of folk science. There should be multiples before as generally inventable and/or producable object in the everyday life.

[6]On the day of 21 of August 1968, the Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia. Although 72 Czech and Slovak civilians were killed and hundreds were wounded by the armies of the „friendly, socialist countries” during the invasion, the people did not resist with „Second Method“ weapons, but invented many „Third Type Methods” for disrupting the military actions: like changing the signposts to disorient the troops, or switching the street-names and house-numbers in order to block the arrests, etc. When a military decree prohibited the people from listening to the radio, a recipe was invented, and since it did not request talent, skill, knowledge, mastership, virtuosity, etc., anybody could make it in the sense of Fluxus, many people realized it: “Listen to a newspaper-covered brick on the street!”. So, the soldiers confiscated thousands of this non-art-art pieces all around the country.

The Czechoslovak Radio 1968 was made in 1969 following the original recipe slightly changed to a portable memorial against war as homage to the natural inventiveness of the people: “Listen to a sulphur-covered brick on the street!”. It is an unlimited multiple, I made several of them occasionally during the following years. (I don’t know if it was made later by someone else also.) An important aspect of the given procedure is that although these types of non-art-art pieces have inevitably different formal realizations by different people on different occasions, like for example any food made according to a recipe, the objects are essentially the very same in respect to their „bottom up” origin, function and aim.

Original, 1800 euro

A little about the actual context of „original” multiples in the art market: thousands of euros. Still there are multiples where the author didnt opened (or didnt even thinked about it) the receip but its such an obvious multiply-able object that someone starts to reproduce it.

For example the Newspapercake[7] of Miklós Erdély was first made in 1967 by Gábor Altorjay of course following the receipe of Erdély.

Folk science

Its obvious that in the concept of multiples there is a possibilitywhich could be the part of a program which runs for liberating the objects from the power of the authors, copyrighters, collectors.

In a system where just the issue is what matters the folk scientists are focusing on the inventing processes. Folk scientists see the point in the reinvention of the wheel or the papercake, or the short circuit instrument[8].


Budapest, 2008 december

[6] Here we plagiarize Tamás St.Auby:




Liget Galéria, Budapest, 2008. december 21.

„Freedom is always the freedom of the free-thinker.” Rosa Fluxemburg

The idea of the 1st multiple show came up when finishing the last stencil show[1] we met Fluxus in the Ludwig Museum[2]. We enjoyed the idea of multiples meanwhile we found it’s a pity that its rather an idea of the old artists kept in museums than an open idea as it is told to be.

We started to collect recipes, pictures got into connection with older artists who made some multiples before. And than we started to upload our collection to the blog[3] established for this purpose. Same time we sent out a call to the Hungarian art scene which calls for both fresh multiples and for old ones realized following the old recieps. We gave the name NOT ORIGINAL! To the 1st multiple show.

On the 20th of december 2008 we put blankets on the ground of Liget Gallery to collect the multiples there. The participants arrived[4] this afternoon with their works and after installing them on one of the blankets they’ve filled out the recipes.

We called for min. 3 pieces from one multiple. One piece from each work went into the Archive of Plágium2000 – after the multiple show we counted 43 different artwork. The „leftöver” pieces were for sale or for change on the 1st multiple show organized next day the 21st of dec.

From a historical point of view it’s important that many almost forgotten multiples from the Hungarian Fluxus artists were copied for this show. The older had many rumours and most of the youth had less clue.

Also this concept of NOT ORIGINAL! is a game we play with the seems-like-natural-law concept of copyright and also with the market prizes. One original of the multiples we were selling for 500 forints (2 euros) were bought for 250.000 forints (1000 euros) in the same year before.

This project contents historical references, documentations and actually runing projects too. The historical references are not just documentations, pictures are not enoguh. We cooked the old reciepes again and served them among fresh multiples. Both older fluxus artists and younger art students participated.

The 1st multiple show shared somehow some aspect of the 3×4[5] exhibition organized in by Gábor Altorjay , Artpool, László Beke and Tamás StAuby. Just from this exhibitions recipes we made 5 multiples again: Newspapercake (Miklós Erdély), Last Year’s Snow (Erdély), Czechslovak Radio 1968 (Tamás StAuby), Short Circuit Instrument (Gábor Altorjay), Unconfortable (Altorjay).

Some of the young artist’s multiples were made in the recent years underlining that the concept of the multiple is practically existing. Also some works were made for this show.

In the organizing of the 1st multiple show we’d worked together with Ingyenműtárgy[6] (Free artwork), Art Fair Trade[7], METEX and Liget Gallery.


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