artificially lit beach addresses pressing ecological issues in the lithuanian pavilion

artificially lit beach addresses pressing ecological issues in the lithuanian pavilion

winner of the golden lion at the 58th venice art biennale, the lithuanian pavilion transforms the interior of a historic quayside building within the marina militare complex, located adjacent to the arsenale, into an artificially lit beach, complete with sand and all the paraphernalia associated with seaside holidays. the work of artists rugilė barzdžiukaitė, vaiva grainytė and lina lapelytė, sun & sea (marina) includes a durational opera performance that addresses some of the most pressing ecological issues of our time.

artificially lit beach addresses pressing ecological issues in the lithuanian pavilionall images © andrej vasilenko



presented by nida art colony of vilnius academy of arts, sun & sea (marina) is curated by lucia pietroiusti, curator of general ecology and live programmes at the serpentine galleries, london. in the unique setting of the marina militare, which until now has never previously been used during the biennale arte, rugilė barzdžiukaitė, vaiva grainytė and lina lapelytė’s opera performance is a highly innovative take on the operatic form – described as ‘counter-monumental’ and ‘anti-baroque theater’. its protagonists are characters who appear as a typical group of holiday-goers, of varying ages, from different walks of life, dressed in colorful bathing suits and sunbathing under the full glare of the sun over a mosaic of towels.

artificially lit beach addresses pressing ecological issues in the lithuanian pavilion




looking down at this fleshy tableau vivant from their sun-like vantage point, visitors observe the frailty of the human condition. as the libretto unfolds, the audience is introduced to each individual in turn, through sung performances (performed whilst lying down) that reveal private preoccupations, ranging from trivial concerns about sunburn and plans for future vacations to nagging fears of environmental catastrophe, which surface as though from the depths of the characters’ troubled consciousness. frivolous micro-stories on this crowded beach give way to broader, more serious topics and grow into a global symphony, a universal human choir addressing planetary scale issues; tired bodies offering a metonym for a tired planet.

artificially lit beach addresses pressing ecological issues in the lithuanian pavilion



project info:


name: sun & sea (marina)

artist: rugilė barzdžiukaitė, vaiva grainytė, lina lapelytė

curator: lucia pietroiusti

opening times: 11 may – 31 october 2019, installation open tue – sun, 10am – 6pm, performance every saturday, 10am – 6pm

location: marina militare, calle de la celestia (near campo de la celestia), castello, 30122 venice, italy

opera-performance: rugilė barzdžiukaitė, vaiva grainytė and lina lapelytė

commissioners: rasa antanavičiūtė and jean-baptiste joly

visual identity: goda budvytytė

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