The must-see piece at the Venice Biennale 2019 – an indoor beach filled with carefree holidaymakers performing arias warning of ecological disasters – is coming to London. The work, Sun and sea (Marina), who won the Golden Lion for Lithuania, will be performed next summer (June 23-July 10) at the Albany Arts Center in Deptford, south London, as part of Lewisham’s years as the London Borough of Culture.
The work consists of an “opera performance” showing day tourists scattered across a beach; the piece seems frothy but gets darker with a barb message to humanity warning of the consequences of climate change.
In Venice, the audience became voyages staring down from the balconies onto the sandy stage of the Arsenal, where artists dressed in bathing suits and surrounded by bathing equipment (lunch boxes, sudoku, coloring books) were tossed on their towels and sun loungers. .
The show has toured several places since it premiered in Venice in 2019, including Berlin and Brooklyn. In London, the installation will “transform the main house in Albany with 13 vocalists and ten tonnes of sand”, says a spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority (GLA), which backs the year-long cultural festival.
Meanwhile, artist Dryden Goodwin is revisiting his 2012 work Breathe-which showed her son inhaling and exhaling – to the Lewisham cultural event. The new public artwork pays homage to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose exposure to air pollution contributed to her death at the age of nine.
“This new work will explicitly relate to the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the growing struggle for climate justice and the power of the collective,” the GLA said. “Five participants from local activist groups, including Choked Up, Mums for Lungs and the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, will sit for the artist to be drawn and recorded while ‘fighting to breathe’.”