Sun & Sea
Imagine a sandy beach – yourself on it, or better yet: standing above it. The scorching sun, the scent of sunscreen, the sight of colorful swimwear, sweaty palms and legs – lazy bodies scattered across a mosaic of towels. Imagine the joyful squeals of children, the sound of laughter, a distant ice cream truck. The musical rhythm of waves crashing against the shore, a soothing sound (on this beach, not anywhere else). The crumpled plastic bags swirling in the air, their silent, jellyfish-like floating beneath the water’s surface. The roar of a volcano, an airplane, or a motorboat. Then a choir of songs: everyday songs, songs born out of worry and boredom, songs about almost nothing. And beneath them: the slow creaking of an exhausted earth, a gasp.
A burning theme
“Sun & Sea” is a critically acclaimed Lithuanian opera-performance, awarded the Golden Lion for the best contribution at this year’s Venice Biennale. The work, a living installation with no beginning or end, will be displayed at Malmö Konsthall from November 2 to 14, 2021 (rescheduled from spring 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus). Malmö Konsthall is the first art institution to showcase the work in Sweden following its international success. “Sun & Sea” is a burning art experience in several senses. Under an artificial sun, the performance lightly addresses urgent issues of sustainability and ecology, tired bodies, and a tired planet. Dystopian themes are explored in a leisurely environment, on a sandy beach that, for many, is synonymous with vacation and relaxation.
The performance is shaped by each venue
The performance at Malmö Konsthall is part of a Nordic tour. In each location, local actors and amateur singers will be recruited to join the original ensemble, shaping the performance based on the place where it is presented. Each performance loops for four hours, allowing the audience to come and go as they please, subject to availability. ‘Sun & Sea’ is produced in collaboration with the Libraries of Malmö with support from the Sweden-Lithuania Cooperation Fund, the Swedish Arts Council, the Nordic Culture Fund, the Malmö Beautification and Planting Association (Plantan), the Environmental Department, and the Cultural Department of the City of Malmö. Thanks to the Embassy of Lithuania in Stockholm.
The creators behind the original opera are the female trio Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė. The project is curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
“Sun & Sea” is made possible by the support of the Libraries of Malmö, the Environment Department and the Culture Department of Malmö, Malmö Museer, the Sweden-Lithuania Cooperation Fund, the Swedish Arts Council, the Nordic Culture Fund, the Society for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Green Parks in Malmö, AkkaFRAKT, the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Sweden.
Drop in / no advance booking required. If the restrictions for Covid-19 require a different solution, we will inform about this on our website, in our social media and in our newsletter in September.
“Sun & Sea” was born from a visual idea: holidaymakers lying on a sandy beach and singing, half-naked bodies observed from above – from the perspective of the sun, as if the people were insects. After that vision, it took four years to find a parallel between the fragility of the human body and the transience of the immense planetary body. Although we realized that the work would somehow address climate change, we were hesitant about how such a vast and urgent theme could be approached in a delicate, non-alarmist, and educational way. The libretto of the work is a mosaic of stories made up of inner monologues, dreams, and thoughts, performed by the holidaymakers through solo singing and in chorus. This potpourri of stories might initially sound like a casual and carefree murmur, but the liturgical and synthetic ocean of songs conceals an impending threat. It’s a contradictory image that reveals itself – holidaymakers sipping sweet Piña Coladas at the same pace as the Earth’s resources diminish.
Concept and idea development: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė och Lina Lapelytė
Direction and Set Design: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Librettist: Vaiva Grainytė
Composer and Music Director: Lina Lapelytė
Curator: Lucia Pietroiusti
Tour Manager / Stage Manager: Erika Urbelevič
Producer: Aušra Simanavičiūtė
Participator: Svetlana Bagdonaitė, Eglė Paškevičienė, Marco Cisco, Lucas Lopes Pereira, Artūras Miknaitis, Kalliopi Petrou, Nabila Dandara Vieira Santos, Ieva Skorubskaitė, Yates Norton, Elisabetta Trevenzuoli, Annapaola Trevenzuoli, Jonas Statkevičius, Vincentas Korba, Jeronimas Petraitis, Juozas Petraitis, Pranas Petraitis.
Sound engineer: Tautvydas Navikas
Producer: TBC [not yet appointed]
Producers: Neon Realism
Co-producers: Akademie Schloss Solitude; Goethe-Institut; JCDecaux; Münchner Kammerspiele; National Gallery of Art, Vilnius; Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts; Staatsschauspiel Dresden; The Momentary, Arkansas.
Commissioners (“Sun & Sea (Marina)”, Venice, 2019): Rasa Antanaviciute
Mecenaries (“Sun & Sea (Marina)”, Venice, 2019): Lithuanian Council for Culture; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; Laurenz Foundation, Basel; Vilnius City Municipality.