A crowded beach, the burning sun, bright bathing suits and sweaty brows and legs. Tired limbs sprawling lazily across a sea of towels. The rumble of a volcano, or of an airplane, or a speedboat. The squeal of children, laughter, the sound of an ice cream van in the distance. Sunbathers sing languid songs of worry, of boredom, of almost nothing. Songs of early morning flights and half-eaten sandwiches in the sand, the crinkling of plastic bags whirling in the air then floating silently, jellyfish-like below the waterline.
Stories that glide between the mundane, the sinister and the surreal. Witness from above as an afternoon at the beach reveals a mesmerising exploration of the relationship between us and our planet.
Lithuania’s national entry for the 2019 Venice Biennale with an all-female creative team – visual artist and composer Lina Lapelyte (she/her)̇, writer and poet Vaiva Grainytė (she/her) and film/theatre director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (she/her), Sun & Sea received the festival’s top award, the Golden Lion for Best National Participation.
Curated by Lucia Pietroiusti (she/her), founder of the General Ecology project at Serpentine, the work has toured the world. Notable presentations include BAM (New York), New European Theatre Festival (Moscow), MOCA (Los Angeles), Teatro Argentina (Rome), Zurcher Theaterspektakel as well as presentations in Athens, Bentonville, Copenhagen, Hanover, Luckenwald, Malmo and Philadelphia.
— Writer, playwright, essayist and poet
— Sun & Sea
Writer, playwright, essayist and poet
Lithuania and Canada
Vaiva Grainytė‘s (b. 1984, based in Lithuania and Canada) text-based practice shifts between genres, interdisciplinary theatre works and publications. As a writer, playwright, and poet she takes action as an observant anthropologist: challenged by Grainyte’s poetic interpretation, mundane social issues take on a paradoxical and defamiliarised nature. Her book of essays Beijing Diaries (2012) and the poetry collection Gorilla’s Archives (2019) were nominated for the Book of the Year awards, and included in the top twelve listings of the most creative books in Lithuania. Her oeuvre has been translated into over 10 languages. Her bilingual, cross-genre collage novel, Roses and Potatoes (2022), intellectually and ironically deconstructs the stereotypical concept of happiness embedded in contemporary culture.
— Filmmaker, theatre director and visual artist
— Sun & Sea
Filmmaker, theatre director and visual artist
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (b.1983, based in Vilnius) works as a filmmaker, theatre director and visual artist. In her creative practice, Barzdžiukaitė explores the gap between objective and imagined realities, while challenging an anthropocentric way of thinking in a playful way. Her recent full-length documentary film-essay Acid Forest was awarded at the Locarno International Film Festival among others, was shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Lincoln Center in NYC, American Film Institute festival in LA and many other events and venues for cinema and contemporary art. Sun & Sea is her latest collaboration in the medium of performance.
— Artist, composer, musician and performer
— Sun & Sea
Artist, composer, musician and performer
Lina Lapelyte’s (b.1984, works in Vilnius and London) performance-based practice is rooted in music and flirts with pop culture, gender stereotypes and nostalgia. Her works engage trained and untrained performers often in an act of singing that takes the form of a collective and affective event questioning vulnerability and silencing. Her works were exhibited at 13th Kaunas biennial, Haus der Kunst, Munich; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Tai Kwun, HK; Glasgow International; Riga Biennial – RIBOCA2; Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th. Venice Biennale; Cartier Foundation gallery, Paris; CCA Ujazdowski, Warsaw; Baltic Triennial 13, Tallinn; Moderna Museet, Malmo; FIAC, Paris; Hayward touring show, UK; Serpentine, London; Her upcoming solo shows include Lafayette Anticipation gallery in Paris and Space gallery, London.
— Sun & Sea
Lucia Pietroiusti is a curator working at the intersection of art, ecology and systems, usually outside of the gallery format.
Pietroiusti is the founder of the General Ecology project at Serpentine, London – a strategic, cross-organisational effort dedicated to the implementation of ecological principles throughout the Galleries’ public-facing programmes, internal infrastructure, and networks; and is currently developing Radical Ecology CIC (with Ashish Ghadiali) as an independent organisation, in charge of several projects including the Institute for General Ecology. Pietroiusti is the curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (and 2020-2022 international tour). She is the curator of the second edition of POWER NIGHT at E-Werk Luckenwalde, titled Being Mothers, in 2021/2022. Together with Filipa Ramos, she will be the curator of the 8th Biennale Gherdeïna, Personen Persons, in May 2022.
At Serpentine, Pietroiusti is currently Strategic Consultant for Ecology, and she was Curator of General Ecology from 2018-2021. General Ecology has presented live events, radio programmes, publications as well as ongoing research projects. Pietroiusti is also a co-curator of Back to Earth – Serpentine’s 50th anniversary programme, dedicated to the environment (ongoing), which invites 65+ artists to devise environmental campaigns, prototypes or interventions in artwork form. Pietroiusti was the co-founder and co-curator of the Serpentine Podcast (since 2015, with Eva Jäger, Ben Vickers and Kay Watson) and the co-curator, with Ashish Ghadiali and Amal Khalaf, of the climate-justice gathering, Sensing the Planet (29 Oct-1 Nov 2021, Dartington Trust / Serpentine).
Ongoing projects include The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (Serpentine homepage / web portal and broadcast platform) an interdisciplinary festival, radio and publication series on consciousness and intelligence across species (with Filipa Ramos, since 2018).
Pietroiusti was one of the curators of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water (2020/2021, with Andrés Jaque, Chief Curator; Marina Otero Verzier; Filipa Ramos and You Mi). In 2022, Pietroiusti will join James Bridle in curating a section of the Helsinki Festival, dedicated to artificial and more-than-human intelligences. Publications include More-than-Human (with Andrés Jaque and Marina Otero Verzier, 2020); Microhabitable (with Fernando García-Dory, Spanish edition published 2020; English edition forthcoming in 2021); PLANTSEX (MAL Journal, 2019) and Sun & Sea (Marina) (2019).
Sun & Sea remains one of the greatest achievements in performance of the last 10 years: wry, seductive and cunning in ways that reveal themselves days or years later. This is a performance that makes the extinction of the species feel as agreeable as a perfect pop song, and as unforgettable, too.— The New York Times
A haunting manifestation of our messed up relationship with our planet.— Time Out London
The UK premiere of Sun & Sea is presented by LIFT, the Albany and Serpentine as part of LIFT 2022, Back to Earth and We Are Lewisham.
We Are Lewisham is presented by Lewisham Council in partnership with the Albany. London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative.
Supported by the Embassy of Lithuania and in association with the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
Photography by Elon Shoenholz, Andrej Vasilenko, Richard Termine and Emmalisa Pauly.
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