Jonas Mekas, a hero in his home town

The town of Vilnius, Lithuania has paid homage to its famous filmmaker and critic citizen, Jonas Mekas, with a new visual arts centre named after him. The centre opened last month with the show, The Avant-Garde from Futurism to Fluxus. The centrepiece of the exhibition was a wall-to-wall installation of Jonas Mekas’s 40 Films. Classic films from Dada filmmakers Duchamp, Leger, and Richter completed the show.

During the opening reception Ben Vautier, legendary Fluxus artist and longtime friend of George Maciunas and Jonas Mekas, treated attendees to a Fluxus concert. Vautier re-enacted classic Fluxus performances of the 1960s. Shigeko Kubota, Vice-President of Fluxus, was also in attendance to lend her support, as was Robert Haller of Anthology Film Archives. Catalogs in English and Lithuanian, with essays by Princeton film scholar P. Adams Sitney, film critic and art historian Amy Taubin, and Fluxus scholars Hollis Melton, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Julia Robinson, and Mari Dumett were signed by Mekas.

The Avant-Garde From Futurism to Fluxus will be on view at the Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania until 03 February 2007.

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