Jonas Mekas’s Art Panorama in Brussels

17 October 2013, Last updated at, 13:20 EEST
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author: A. Baltėnas

The work of Jonas Mekas - an experimental film-maker, video artist and poet, will be presented in the major art halls of Brussels as part of the cultural program of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council.

16-27 October the Belgian Royal Film Archives CINEMATEK will show Jonas Mekas’s Retrospective. 17 October – 26 January, 2014 BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts will showcase the exhibition Jonas Mekas - The Fluxus Wall. Jonas Mekas will participate in the opening events.

The retrospective of Jonas Mekas films will start on 16 October at 19.00 with the Belgian premiere of “Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man“(2012) at CINEMATEK. A discussion with the author led by CINEMATEK director Nicola Mazzanti and curator Olivier Dekegel will take place after the movie. The retrospective includes movies from the period 1964-2012 such as “Walden”, “Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania”, “Lost, lost, lost”, “Sleepless Night Stories”, 16 mm short films, and others selected by Jonas Mekas.

17 October at 18.30 the exhibition Jonas Mekas - The Fluxus Wall will be opened in the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts. It presents exclusive Jonas Mekas works, created in the period from the 1950s to the present. On the same day, at 17.00, the talk Jonas Mekas meets Vytautas Landsbergis will take place at the BOZAR STUDIO. The exhibition curator Liutauras Pšibilskis and director of the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, Lolita Jablonskienė, will present the conversation.

The exhibition Jonas Mekas - The Fluxus Wall presents photos, films, installations, video diary and poems touching on important topics in Mekas’s work – Lithuania / Home / Paradise, Friendship / Family, Now / Existence in Presence.
Visitors will see photos that capture the first steps of Jonas Mekas and his brother Adolf after they moved to the United States, and the intimate moments of Lithuanian community life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The Fluxus Wall displays portraits of Mekas friends including Jurgis Mačiūnas, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and other famous art world characters.

Part of the exhibition is dedicated to Fluxus performances. Photos and documents from the personal archive of Mekas and Fluxus collection in Vilnius tell about the life and art of George Maciunas (Jurgis Mačiūnas) – the founder of the Fluxus movement. It reflects the idea of George Maciunas to incorporate performance art into real life.
One exhibition room presents the current interests of Jonas Mekas. The video “365 Days Project”, which captures special moments for each day of a year, will be screened for many hours.

One more encounter with Jonas Mekas is scheduled on 18 October at 17.00 in the BOZAR, where he will present the video film “Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR”. The film chronologically presents Lithuania’s independence movement in the period 1989 -1991. The film is based on U.S. television news reports, talk shows and interviews, which Mekas followed and filmed at his home in New York. According to the author, this movie can be seen as a classical Greek drama, where one man's determination change the destiny of nations and the fight of a small nation for its freedom is supported by Olympian Gods.

Jonas Mekas’s presentation in Brussels is organized by the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU, the National Art Gallery in Vilnius, BOZAR and CINEMATEK, in collaboration with the Jonas Mekas Visual Art Centre, and the International Culture Programme Centre. The program is financed by the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania.

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