“The lunatics are on the loose…” EUROPEAN FLUXUS FESTIVALS 1962–1977 CAC Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius December 14, 2012 – January 27, 2013
Lithuania has a very special relationship with Fluxus art, as it is believed to be the movement’s “historical motherland” – the real founder and leader of the legendary movement is Kaunas-born avant-garde artist and the representative of New York art scene – George Maciunas (1931–1978). Similarly Jonas Mekas, who is celebrating his 90th Birthday this year, once travelled through the history’s many twists and turns finding the way from his native Lithuania to New York, where he became the master of avant-garde cinema, capturing in diary-like films the daily life of 1960’s New York, including – the actions of Fluxus artists. Fluxus artists declared that absolutely everything could become an art object, and tried to overcome any traditional boundaries.
On the evening of December 14, in CAC Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, opens an exhibition “The lunatics are on the loose…”, which aims to cover the European Fluxus events and their history between the years 1962 and 1977. Exposition, which will be open for view until January 27, 2013, could be described as the first step towards the extensive research regarding the movement’s development in Europe. Both grand and petite happenings once sparked up in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Vilnius, Budapest and other cities. The only evidence of these momentary events is their documentation. But as the eyewitnesses of these occurrences are still among us, the organizers of the exhibition are inviting them to respond, in order to consummate the already gathered material. Although the exhibition is a set and essentially complete entity, it freely surrenders to the influence of the viewer; it is prepared to flow and alter – as the movements Latin meaning describes. Even the phrase “The lunatics are on the loose…” was scratched on the Fluxus festival’s poster by some indignant viewer.
Willem de Ridder covering Emmett Williams’s head with a cabbage. Performance in Amsterdam, 18 December 1963. Photo: Dorine van der Klei
This is a travelling exhibition, which has previously taken place in Potsdam, Poznan, Krakow and Copenhagen, but, simultaneously with its visit in Vilnius, it is also on view at Goethe-Institut in Paris. The exhibition is driven by five curators from Germany, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Great Britain.
The participants of this exhibition are – Eric Andersen (DK), Philip Corner (US/IT), Geoffrey Hendricks (US), Bengt af Klintberg (SE), Milan Knížák (CZ), Alison Knowles (US), Jarosław Kozłowski (PL), Vytautas Landsbergis (LT), Larry Miller (US), Ann Noël (GB/DE), Ben Patterson (US/DE), Willem de Ridder (NL), Tamás St.Turba (HU/CH), Ben Vautier (CH/FR) and many others.