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Jonas Mekas, Fluxus on the Hudson, 1971


Update: This post covers the opening of the Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center. It implies that Vilnius is not seen as a contemporary art hub when, in fact, the city is a thriving center of avant-garde practice, home not only to Mekas and Maciunas, but also to the eminent CAC and many other artists.- Ceci Moss

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Comments

Kazys Varnelis Jan. 3 2008 15:19Reply

Of course its great to see Mekas's center in Vilnius, but Vilnius is hardly a void waiting for Manhattanization. On the contrary, the Contemporary Art Centre (http://www.cac.lt/) has just celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Every time I visit, I'm struck by how strong the work there is, a contrast to say, New York and L. A., where the scenes seem so played-out sometimes. So Vilnius has been doing more than just embodying the spirit of its avant-garde fathers, its been moving forward for quite a while now. Hopefully the new attention to the city as the cultural capital of Europe will build on what the city already offers, not impose predigested images of what it should be onto it.

Kazys Varnelis Jan. 3 2008 15:19Reply

Of course its great to see Mekas's center in Vilnius, but Vilnius is hardly a void waiting for Manhattanization. On the contrary, the Contemporary Art Centre (http://www.cac.lt/) has just celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Every time I visit, I'm struck by how strong the work there is, a contrast to say, New York and L. A., where the scenes seem so played-out sometimes. So Vilnius has been doing more than just embodying the spirit of its avant-garde fathers, its been moving forward for quite a while now. Hopefully the new attention to the city as the cultural capital of Europe will build on what the city already offers, not impose predigested images of what it should be onto it.

Ceci Moss Jan. 3 2008 16:22Reply

Thank you for the thoughtful comment. We clarified our emphasis. You're right–the CAC should most certainly not be overlooked, and neither should the important and vibrant art community in Lithuania.