Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center's (JMVAC) Inaugural Exhibition Opens in Vilnius, Lithuania the World's New Capital of the Avant-Garde and Fluxus
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The Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center (JMVAC) in Vilnius, Lithuania proudly announces its premier exhibition, The Avant-Garde: From Futurism to Fluxus, which opens to the public on November 5, 2007 and runs through February 3, 2008. The exhibition highlights the history of the avant-garde through some of its most pivotal figures and a wide array of mediums including film, film stills, installation, Fluxus objects and documents, sculpture, video, and poetry, which cooperatively stimulated new ways of thinking about art, culture, and society. Furthermore, the exhibition represents a celebratory homecoming for two of Lithuania's most prolific artists: pioneering avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas and George Maciunas, the impresario and "Chairman" of the 1960's international art movement Fluxus.
Kazys Binkis, the Futurist poet and writer whose literary activity awakened Lithuania to avant-garde philosophy and aesthetics holds an honorary place in the program.
Jonas Mekas "The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema" presents new installations in which the still and moving image conjoin in a spectacular multimedia presentation. His Collection of 40 Short Films is shown on monitors and wall projections together with 40 film stills extracted from this riveting series demonstrating Mekas' formal innovations as well as his importance as a documentarian. Among the well known personalities who appear in his films are: John Lennon, Salvador Dali, George Maciunas, Richard Serra, Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol, and Allen Ginsberg, reminding us that Mekas' films represent some of the best historical footage of the avant-garde in existence from the 1960's to the present. Also featured will be Zefiro Torna: Scenes From the Life of George Maciunas (1992), Mekas' cinematic homage to his longtime friend and collaborator. Complementing the film are 40 film stills that Mekas crafted specially for the exhibition.
"With this exhibition, Vilnius has taken another very important step towards becoming the world's new capital of the avant-garde and Fluxus in the 21st Century", stated Arturas Zuokas, the Chairman of the Board of the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center.
Essential works have been selected from the Center's recently acquired Fluxus collection. Maciunas' readymade sign No Smoking (1963/1973), his collaborative work with George Brecht realized through Iced Dice (1964), and Yoko Ono's Do It Yourself (1966) demonstrate the movement's emphasis on humor and desire to construct art from everyday objects and actions. The 80 Wooster Street documents describe Maciunas' vision to convert the industrial buildings of New York's downtown SoHo neighborhood into the legendary Fluxhouse Artist Cooperatives earning him the title of "Father of SoHo." Also on view will be Nam June Paik's conceptual video installation Real Plant/Live Plant (1978). Showing will be key documentary films including Larry Miller's Some Fluxus (1991), Shigeko Kubota's Fluxus Soho Tour (1994), and Lars Movin's The Misfits: 30 Years of Fluxus (1993) giving insight to the Fluxus movement as a whole, as well as its charismatic "Chairman." Maciunas' comprehensive production Fluxfilm Anthology (1962-70) encapsulates the group's critical yet playful engagement with film tradition.
Jonas Mekas specifically curates a roster of films by visionaries of avant-garde cinema. So honored are Luis Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou (1929) written in collaboration with Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp's Anemic Cinema (1926), Hans Richter's Rhythmus 21 (1921), Fernand Leger's Ballet Mecanique (1924), and Peter Kubelka's Arnulf Rainer (1960).
Jonas Mekas congratulates the opening of the JMVAC: "Thanks to Arturas Zuokas and Kristijonas Kucinskas! I feel it's important today to make a detour from the daily realities, to change the direction, to move towards other realities, other realities, other realities ---"
This landmark exhibition culminates in the historic moment when Lithuania assumes the esteemed position of European Capital of Culture in 2009. Such international recognition attests to the fact that a vibrant new period in Lithuanian culture has already emerged.
Looking ahead, JMVAC is exploring a feasibility of joining with other leading arts institutions to develop a larger cultural institution in Vilnius, Lithuania. Preparations for the proposed institution include a competition between internationally renowned architects Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Daniel Libeskind.
The exhibition will be accompanied with a full-page color catalogue with essays by R. Bruce Elder, P. Adams Sitney, Amy Taubin, Mari Dumett, Julia Robinson, Carolina Carrasco, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, and Hollis Melton
Maya Stendhal Gallery is one of the curators of the exhibition.
Web site: http://www.mekas.lt/
Maya Stendhal Gallery
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Labels: avant-garde, exhibition, Fluxlist Europe, Fluxus Heidelberg Center, Fluxus in the 21st Century, Inaugural, Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center's (JMVAC), Lithuan, New Capital, Open, Vilnius, World's