Sun & Sea

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė

“Sun and Sea” is a major installation and a performance of human life on the beach of time. The acclaimed Venice Biennale success, created by the Lithuanian artists Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė, can be experienced in June 2021 in the Kühlhaus Berlin as part of the Immersion programme series.

Sun & Sea

Sun & Sea

© Andrej Vasilenko

  • In English

Past Dates

“What a relief that the Great Barrier Reef has a restaurant and hotel!”
The audience is the blazing sun, the eye of the world, the non-human view of earthly events. In the middle of the big city, inside a building, it views a beach, a large tableau of tired limbs on a colourful mosaic of towels and laughing children. These people are from different social backgrounds, a cross-section of the population and physical shapes. Those watched read, swipe at their smartphones, stretch out in the sand, put on sun cream, eat ice cream, play cards and boules. Individual voices can be heard: the stories of the sunbathers, as well as conversations, dreams and thoughts. Their individual songs condense into songs of hope and crisis, laments about the transient physicality of the bathers and the exhausted earth. From the tableau of an ordinary day by the sea, a choir of people rises, whose symphony speaks to man-made climate change.

After being awarded the Golden Lion for “Sun & Sea” at the Venice Biennale Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė will present their musical installation as part of the Immersion programme in the Kühlhaus Berlin. They explore the largest system that connects us all to a huge variety of human and non-human participants and forms a large ecosystem – namely, the climate. By transforming the interior into an artificial beach and using the perspective of the audience as if from an extraterrestrial sun, “Sun & Sea” underlines the fact that the climate knows no boundaries and our species is part of a whole to which we are happily connected and to which we are fully indebted.

“Not a single climatologist predicted a scenario like this.”
Humans, too, are involved in the continuous transformation processes of matter. They are not the centre of the world, but part of its modus operandi: “It is not that we have organisms over here and the environment over there but rather an overlapping of mutual constellations”, as Bruno Latour puts it. At this point, the term “immersion” helps us to understand the dissolution of the anthropocentric subject-object dualism and the earth striking back, its transformation into an actor. It is no longer the object viewed by the human subject or the stage on which Homo sapiens performs, but an actor itself who has “quite a few tricks up its sleeve” and “creeps into all our actions as a third party”. Shortly after “Sun & Sea” won the Golden Lion in Venice, the protagonist earth announced itself in the form of a massive flood. The opening in May had already been marked by hail and storms in Venice while the sunbathing performers sang on the artificial beach: “The beginning of May brought frost and snow / And winter gives us buds and mushrooms.”

Concept and Dramaturgy Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė
Director and Set Designer Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Lyrics Vaiva Grainytė
Composer and Music Director Lina Lapelytė
Curator Lucia Pietroiusti
Tour Manager Aušra Simanavičiūtė
Tour Coordinator and Stage Manager Erika Urbelevič
Technical DirectorLique Van Gerven
Sound Engineer Romuald Galiauskas
Production Company Neon Realism


Marco Cisco, Claudia Graziadei, Elisabeth Holmer, Vincentas Korba, Artūras Miknaitis, Yates Norton, Vytautas Pastarnokas, Eglė Paškevičienė, Lucas Lopes Pereira, Jeronimas Petraitis, Juozas Petraitis, Pranas Petraitis, Salomėja Petronytė, Kalliopi Petrou, Ieva Skorubskaitė, Svetlana Statkevičienė, Jonas Statkevičius, Annapaola Trevenzuoli, Elisabetta Trevenzuoli, Nabila Dandara Vieira Santos

Live Soundtrack Salomėja Petronytė

Founding Producer: Neon Realism

Co-Producers: Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; Goethe-Institut; Münchner Kammerspiele; National Gallery of Art, Vilnius; Staatsschauspiel Dresden; The Momentary, Arkansas

Sponsor JCDecaux

Commissioner (“Sun & Sea (Marina)”, Venice, 2019): Rasa Antanavičiūtė
Founding Patrons (“Sun & Sea (Marina)”, Venice, 2019): Lithuanian Council for Culture; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; Laurenz Foundation, Basel; Vilnius City Municipality (“Sun & Sea (Marina)”, Venice, 2019)

Berliner Festspiele / Immersion will collaborate with E-WERK Luckenwalde in an effort to substantially reduce the work’s carbon footprint.