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Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Italy Architecture News - Jun 19, 2019 - 03:29   2267 views

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

The Lithuanian Pavilion has created an artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues of out time at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale. Opened on Saturday May 11 to the public, this year's Biennale is themed as "May You Live In Interesting Times". Curated by Ralph Rugoff, the theme serves "as a kind of guide for how to live and think in interesting times." 

Exhibited at the 58th International Exhibition, the Lithuanian Pavilion also won the Golden Lion Award at this year's Venice Art Biennale. The Pavilion transformed the interior of a historic quayside building within the Marina Militare complex into an artificially lit beach scene replete with sand and all the paraphernalia associated with seaside holidays.

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Called Sun & Sea (Marina), the Pavilion is located within the Marina Militare complex, adjacent to Arsenale, and the performance can only be seen on Saturdays.  

While initially appearing light-hearted, this highly innovative take on the operatic form - described as "counter-monumental" and "anti-baroque theatre" - addresses some of the most pressing ecological issues of our time.

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

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.

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

With a bird's-eye view of the performance from a mezzanine gallery above the stage, audiences look down on the assembled characters who appear as a typical group of holiday-goers, of varying ages, from different walks of life, attired in colourful bathing suits and sunbathing under the full glare of the sun over a mosaic of towels. 

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Surveying this fleshy tableau vivant from their sun-like vantage point, audiences observe the frailty of the human condition. "As the libretto unfolds we are 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," said a statement for the Biennale. 

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

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.

Sun & Sea (Marina) is the first version of this piece in English, adapted as a durational performance. The original version of Sun & Sea (Marina) was produced by Neon Realism.

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

Lithuanian Pavilion creates artificial beach addressing the most pressing ecological issues in Venice

"May You Live In Interesting Times highlights artworks whose forms function in part to call attention to what forms conceal and the multifarious purposes that they fulfil. 

The 2019 Venice Art Biennale was opened on May 11 to the public and will be on view until Sunday November 24, 2019, at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice, Italy

Project facts

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

All images © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of Biennale Arte 2019

> via Venice Art Biennale