"They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck,and Hitler is going to end up as a piece of cheese."



George: The Story of George Maciunas and Fluxus [OV], USA 2018, R: Jeffrey Perkins, 123 Min

Special guest director Jeffrey Perkins; Film screening and a conversation with the director

Conversation moderated by: Zorko Sirotic and Janka Vukmir

George Maciunas (1931-1978) was the founder of Fluxus, a radical avant-garde art movement of the 20th century. The film traces how the Lithuanian-born iconoclastic polymath assembled an international network of artists, musicians, and poets that provoked social and political change through performance, ready-mades, and artworks aimed at collapsing the boundary of art and life. From developing the first artist-owned lofts in SoHo, New York, to his attempt to realize a utopian society on a desolate island in the Caribbean, Maciunas was an uncompromising visionary with a rebellious sense of humor. What emerges in the film, is a kaleidoscopic, often contradictory but always revealing portrait of Maciunas’ bold and tragic life. With interviews among over thirty artists and scholars including Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, and Nam June Paik, the film recounts Maciunas’ mercurial personality …(Studio for Artistic Research)

In 1961 Lithuanian American artist and impresario George Maciunas established the avant-garde art movement Fluxus. George details the rise of Fluxus following a sensationalized tour of “concerts” in Europe in 1962, and continuing in New York for most of the 1960s and ’70s.

I never realized before watching Perkins’s documentary that George Maciunas basically invented WeWork, or, rather creative co-working as a constellation of cooperatives spread across different cities, free from capitalistic imperatives. Unlike today’s scam artists Made in Silicon Valley, Maciunas was a true genius, a visionary, a maverick. (MUBI)

Jeffrey Perkins’s George is an important new addition to the twin canons of art and anti-art. (Mark Bloch / The Brooklyn Rail)

Jeffrey Perkins is a visual artist/filmmaker. While serving in the US Air Force stationed in Tokyo, he met Yoko Ono and her husband Anthony Cox. Through his time with them, he was exposed to the works of Cage, Duchamp, LaMonte Young and others, and began participating in events, performances and concerts.

In 1967 he moved to LA and began appearing at performance festivals, primarily at UCLA, organized by Joseph Byrd & Fredrich Liberman. He is the co-founder of ‘Single Wing Turquoise Bird’, a multimedia group that has done Light Shows for Velvet Underground, Grateful Dead and Dr. John, to name just a few. Jeff met the painter Sam Francis, who became the main patron of the group; he also started filming Sam Francis at that time and released a film about him in 2008. He continued to work on his own projects, exhibited and performed with Terry Jennings, Angus MacLise and Peter Mays.


In 1981, Jeff returned to NYC and began exhibiting at the Emily Harvey Gallery. His work ‘Pillar’ was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1992. His ‘Movies for the Blind’ project consists of audio recordings of conversations and interviews with passengers in the New York taxi he drove.

Perkins, described by Nam June Paik as a “Fluxus outsider/underdog,” like Maciunas, took on many roles. After working in relative obscurity for more than five decades, in the 1960s he collaborated (and would remain close) with many Fluxus artists (including Yoko Ono, Alison Knowles and George Maciunas himself). Since 1986 he has been associated with the Anthology Film Archives in New York.

He is currently working on a film about Henry Flynt.

Zorko Sirotic was born in 1985 in Zagreb, where he became a member of the Zagreb Cinema Club in 2000, graduated from the School of Applied Arts and Design in 2004, and the Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2018 (film and TV direction, direction: doc. film). He is the author of documentary, feature and experimental films, and he gained television experience working on commercial television. He is the creator of the underground talk show ‘Judgment Day’ (2013) at Kinoklub Zagreb, as well as the show ‘Val razuma’ (2015) on Radio Student.

In 2022, he became the representative of the New York organization The Film-Makers’ Cooperative/New American Cinema Group (NACG) for the countries of the former Yugoslavia. He is the leader and mentor of numerous film workshops focused on alternative film and documentary-experimental forms.

Janka Vukmir is an art historian and head of the Institute for Contemporary Art in Zagreb.

Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York and the City of Zagreb

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