Every five years, the contemporary art exhibition documenta presents works by highly influential artists. In 2017, documenta 14 took place in Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece. Works by 160 artists from around the world were shown. Among the works exhibited were thirty-seven by the artist George Maciunas and Jonas Mekas’ films and photos.
June 10th marked the opening of the international documenta 14 exhibition that presented works by Lithuanian artists alongside of famous artists from around the world. Thirty-seven works from the spiritus movens of the FLUXUS movement George Maciunas were exhibited at the Kassel Neue Galerie from his series Atlas of Russian History (1953) and Expanded Title (1953). The Neue Neue Galerie showed works from the 1970s and 1980s by Lithuanian photographer A. Šeškus.
Jonas Mekas was the trail blazer of avant-garde films. His films, Reminiszenzen aus Deutschland (1971-1993, 2012), Lost, Lost, Lost (1949-1963, 1976) and Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972) were screened at the Bali Film Hall. Thirty- six of Jonas Mekas’ photographs that documented the lives of Displaced Persons in the DP camps of Wiesbaden, Kassel (Mattenberg) during 1945-1948 were exhibited in the Bali Hall.
A video work about Jonas Mekas’ I Had Nowhere to Go (2016) by notable Scots filmmaker Douglas Gordon was also screened at documenta 14.
On June 8th, a conversation between Jonas Mekas and Adam Szymczk, the Artistic Director of documenta 14 took place in Kassel at the Bali movie theatre. On June 10th and 11th, Jonas Mekas’ diaries in English and German were exhibited at the Bali movie theatre as well as at the Between Bridges Gallery in Berlin (I Had Nowhere to Go/Ich hatte keinen Ort. Spector Books.) Jonas Mekas read excerpts from his book in English to a fully packed auditorium with translations into German by the book’s translator, Heike Geißler.