Award-Winning ‘Sun & Sea’ Performance Comes to E-Werk Luckenwalde

by Noushin Afzali // June 15, 2021

E-Werk Luckenwalde will host ‘Sun & Sea’—the Golden Lion Award-winning opera-performance that represented Lithuania at the 58th Venice Biennale—on July 17th and 18th. The performance will take place at the spectacular disused Bauhaus swimming pool adjacent to E-Werk and is powered entirely by renewable electricity. Curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, the curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries, the performance brings together Lina Lapelyté, Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilé Barzdžiukaité in their second artistic collaboration. The overlap of theatre, music and the visual arts plays an important part in their collaborative practice. Furthermore, the relationship between documentary and fiction, reality and poetry are central to their works.

Rugile Barzdziukait, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte: ‘Sun & Sea’ (Marina), performance at Biennale Arte, Venice 2019 // Copyright Andrej Vasilenko

On two consecutive days, ‘Sun & Sea’ will be performed on an artificial beach composed through light, architecture, and music in the setting of the empty swimming pool. The performers who are engaged in sunbathing and other mundane activities reflect a commonplace beach scene. Though the opera is staged in leisurely harmony, the libretto’s contents offer a dark commentary on earth’s deterioration. Through its focus on ecological issues, ‘Sun & Sea’ unfolds contemporary crises based on planetary-scale anthropogenic climate change.

Lina Lapelyté is an artist, composer, musician, and performer based in Vilnius and London. Using song as an object, she examines the issues of displacement, otherness and beauty. Lapelyté’s performance-based practice is embedded in music and explores pop culture, gender stereotypes and nostalgia.

Vaiva Grainytė is a Lithuanian writer, playwright, and poet, who is engaged with interdisciplinary projects. Her creative practice includes radio plays, site specific/dance performances and musicals. In her latest works, Grainytė reveals the main qualities of her oeuvre: biographical and collective memory, documentary and fiction, daily routine and social issues. Her solo works, the 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.

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė works as a filmmaker, theatre director and visual artist. She explores the tension between documentary and fiction, performing and being, filming and seeing. In her creative practice, Barzdžiukaitė challenges the anthropocentric way of thinking in a playful manner. Her recent full-length documentary film-essay ‘Acid Forest’ was awarded at the Locarno International Film Festival.

a woman lies on a lounge chair in the beach performance at the Venice Biennale, in a red swimsuit and with a small child on her lap

Rugile Barzdziukait, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte: ‘Sun & Sea’ (Marina), performance at Biennale Arte, Venice 2019 // Copyright Martynas Norvaisas

Tickets for ‘Sun & Sea’ will go on sale on June 16th, with special live stream tickets available for 25 Euros, for those who are unable to visit Luckenwalde this summer. E-Werk will also run a concurrent program for children over the weekend of ‘Sun & Sea’ to support artists, team members and families attending the event and ensure children can also benefit from the vital climate change message the opera offers.

twin girls wearing matching blue shorts, sage green crop tops and long braids lie on a beach towel on the sand

Rugile Barzdziukait, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte: ‘Sun & Sea’ (Marina), performance at Biennale Arte, Venice 2019 // Copyright Andrej Vasilenko

E-Werk Luckenwalde is located in a former coal power station built in 1913, which is now used as an art and exhibition center. Located 30 minutes south of Berlin, E-Werk Luckenwalde is jointly directed by Pablo Wendel and Helen Turner. In 2017, Wendel bought E-Werk and, together with Turner, he runs it as a public art center with changing exhibitions, events, performances, workshops and studios. In 2019, the former lignite power station was reconnected to the power grid and today produces sustainable artificial electricity (Kunststrom). The proceeds from the sale of electricity are used to support new art and cultural projects. E-Werk Luckenwalde is a member of the Gallery Climate Coalition.

If you can’t make the ‘Sun & Sea’ performance in July, be sure to check out E-Werk’s ‘Power Night’ event in September, also curated by Lucia Pietroiusti. Pietroiusti will run a dynamic program of live events, featuring 28 international artists, across the 10,000 m² site of E-Werk, including Fluxdome, E-Werk’s outdoor performance space, and the neighbouring Bauhaus Stadtbad (city swimming pool), which will host the ‘Sun & Sea’ performance next month.

Exhibition Info

E-Werk Luckenwalde

‘Sun & Sea’
Performances: July 17, 2021; 3–7pm, July 18, 2021; 12–5pm
Admission: € 8 (€ 6 concession)
Rudolf-Breitscheid-Straße 73, 14943 Luckenwalde, click here for map

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