Who’s the most famous person from Kaunas, Lithuania of all times? Tough question, right? If we limit ourselves to the fields of art and culture, however, George Maciunas is the winner. Born in Kaunas in 1931, he emigrated to the West with his family in the wake of WW2. Later in New York, he became the founder and godfather of FLUXUS. A new souvenir gift box from Kaunas, UNESCO City of Design (the city was included into the UNESCO Creative Cities network in 2015) is tracing the legacy of Maciunas in his hometown. How much of it is out there?
There’s enough to be published as a set of postcards and put into a box, accompanied with an actual George Maciunas postage stamp and a handy “No smoking” sign (the latter was made by The Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in Vilnius). The George Maciunas square and the FLUXUS cabinet at the Kaunas Picture Gallery are among the selected objects, all of which have been interpreted and illustrated by Tadas Bujanauskas, a successful graphic designer who spends significant amount of his time on projects related to Kaunas.
“I can only be happy about the Renaissance of George Maciunas in Kaunas, the UNESCO City of Design – I’m sure, with time, more and more people will discover his name, work and FLUXUS ideas”, says Andrijana Filinaitė, Head of Cultural Heritage Unit at the Kaunas City Municipality Administration. “There’s a clear parallel between the work of Maciunas, the new gift box and Kaunas in general – it’s all about variability, playfulness and a pinch of revolt“.
The FLUXUS box will travel to other members of UNESCO Creative Cities network; it will also be used as a gift for guests of Kaunas.