On Friday evening, I went to the opening of the Fluxus Ministry in Kaunas. Fluxus Ministry is an alternative arts organization that has transformed the former Lituanica shoe factory building into an exhibit and performance space. Fluxus Ministry’s mission is to intervene in the tedious, routine world with the unexpected and paradoxical. And they do just that! My favorite exhibit was “Requiem Orchestra” — a darkened cavernous second floor room was filled with rows of folding chairs, each with a music stand and a rusted or dented instrument. It was strange and fascinating and thought-provoking, exactly what I would expect from a Fluxus art space. You can get a glimpse of it in this Fluxus video of the opening.
Fluxus Ministry is named after the Fluxus art movement of the 1960s. The Fluxus community was organized by George Marciunas and Jonas Mekas, two Lithuanian-born artists who immigrated to New York. The movement grew to encompass artists in the United States, Europe and Japan. Fluxus artists were interdisciplinary and collaborative — and “anti-art.” They believed that art should have social and political meaning and not just be art for art’s sake. They emphasized minimalism in their work. Yoko Ono is probably the most famous Fluxus artists.