What if it didn't matter if we were perfect for a while? What if the main goal was just to get involved? PR manager Mirka Gúčiková experienced what it's like in Lithuania and talks about her experience in Kaunas.
European Capital of Culture Kaunas 2022 (Lithuania) invited us to the city's Fluxus festival in September. Its aim is to get people involved and having fun together in a Fluxus style. That is, according to the philosophy of the Fluxus movement, one of whose founders was Kaunas-born artist and dreamer George Maciunas.
Fluxus was an international community of artists in the 1960s and 1970s who were dedicated to experimental performance art and preferred the process of creation over the finished work. Famous personalities involved in Fluxus activities included, for example, John Cage or Yoko Ono. In Kaunas, before the festival, we also took a thematic Fluxus walk, during which these words were repeated as a refrain: "You can love it, you can hate it, nobody cares. That's Fluxus!"
The Fluxus festival is fundamentally at odds with the company's philosophy of performance and success. There's really no need to be perfect here. The important thing is to dare, to be part of it. Young and old, individuals and collectives in masks perform on small stages. A collective of older women perform a minute-long pantomime fairy tale - some are frogs, one is a queen. There are friends, amateurs who just want to have fun, there are professional dancers or singers. A crowd gathers beneath the stages, many in elaborate costumes. Human cloud, human bird, human piano...
Everyone is waiting for the signal to cut the starting ribbon and march down the closed street to the Parodos hill. There we will find a "playground" for adults and children. With an electronic piano we control the light installation on the building, we can create music, change the plot of the show, create... Or just watch the unconventional performances by male and female artists, or see the community ones on the big stage, accompanied by a professional dance troupe.
We also performed. We dressed up as engineers of curiosity, whom you may know from our second film (you can find it on the Trenčín 2026 YouTube channel). Marek Niejadlík from Garage composed the music, Matúš Oravec sang his lyrics. On a small stage under the hill, we invited people to write a message from Kaunas to Trenčín on our costumes during the parade with UV markers. On the big stage we revealed the drawings and words with UV lights. Curiosity is invisible, but we all have it in us. That was our message.
The festival is also an inspiration for Trenčín. It connects the event with the historical personality of the city and art, nourishes its legacy, invites to creativity and is a place where Kaunas citizens can be active together. The whole festival ends with John Lennon's song Imagine. Its words "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" lend themselves to telling the life of George Maciunas. Lennon keeps on singing “I hope that one day you will join us. And the world will live as one.” It reminds me of the Czech “When children play, they don't get angry”. I guess that goes for adults too.
"Let the Fluxus burn in each of us"
Photos by Kaunas 2022