Sun & Sea (Marina) took place on an artificial beach set within a former military building in Venice, with performers donning swimsuits and surrounded by the trappings of a day by the seaside. With cinematic production quality, talented vocalists, and a cheeky script, the artists tapped into the zeitgeist. In Venice, hours-long queues of eager art-goers formed as the piece became an Instagram sensation, reaching far beyond the biennale. While art about climate change is often depressingly bleak, Barzdžiukaitė, Grainytė, and Lapelytė showed that the dark, urgent subject matter can be deployed through generous, out-of-the-box means—in this case, a relatable performance that’s a sensory experience, complete with angelic melodies and the sweet scent of the ocean.
Header images: Left: Portrait of Lina Lapelytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, and Vaiva Grainytė by Andrej Vasilenko. Right: Installation view of “Sun & Sea (Marina),” 2019, for the Lithuania Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. Photo © Andrej Vasilenko.