Lithuanians in the news
20th August, 2005
Founder of the Avant-Garde "Fluxus" Movement Celebrated by the Premiere of an Oratorio
Jurgis Mačiūnas,
the founder of the
"Fluxus" movement
The World Premiere of "Machunas", a performance oratorio celebrating the life and work of Jurgis Mačiūnas (George Machunas) was staged on August 20 & 21, 2005 at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, as part of the Christopher Summer Festival 2005. (St. Christopher is the patron Saint of Vilnius).
Lucio Pozzi, oratorio author.
Photo Barbara Breckerman
Frank J. Oteri, oratorio composer.
Photo Jeffery Herman
Jurgis Mačiūnas was the founder in 1962 of the avant-garde artistic movement "Fluxus", which has been of major significance in the development of art in the latter part of 20th century. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1931 and died in New York, USA, in 1978. The Fluxus movement had its genesis in 1962, flowing on from the Fluxus Festival organised by Mačiūnas in Wiesbaden, Germany. Many noted artists became associated with the Fluxus movement, including Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow.
Donatas Katkus, conductor of the
Christopher Chamber Orchestra
The libretto and music for the oratorio were a collaborative venture between the Italian-American artist Lucio Pozzi and the American composer Frank J. Oteri, who worked over five years to complete the project three years ago. The music for the oratorio was performed by the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of the orchestra’s founder, Donatas Katkus. "Fluxus" ideas were evident in many of the artistic events this summer in Lithuania. Lucio Pozzi himself has an exhibition in the "Vartai" gallery in Vilnius. Also, the Lithuanian Art Museum in this year’s Venice Biennale featured the Lithuanian New York artist, director and poet, Jonas Mekas, who was strongly influenced by "Fluxus" ideas, with the consequence that Lithuania’s pavilion at the Biennale has been mentioned as amongst the most interesting expositions. The "Machunas" oratorio is a fitting concluding act to this year’s Christopher Summer Festival.

Further information: "Lietuvos Rytas" 2/8/05, 16/8/05  ;  ;  ;