Sun & Sea: Lyrical Artwork Is ‘The Weirdest Thing I’ve Ever Seen’


It’s supposed to amaze those lucky enough to witness it, but what’s happening in this image scares some people.

Women in bikinis lie on beach towels as they sunbathe, while men in shorts relax and children build sand castles.

But there is a twist; these people are not at the beach. Instead, they’re inside a building, and there are fully clothed onlookers watching from above and scrutinizing their every move.

The photo has some social media users puzzled, with comments that it looks like a scene from a bizarre prison movie.

“You have people huddled together, and some people look at them like they’re at the beach but they’re not at the beach, they’re in a building with sand in it,” one social media commenter said.

“Without a doubt, this has to be the weirdest footage I’ve seen in my entire life… It’s pretty crazy, pretty wild, pretty out there.”

Another commented it could be like a ‘jail for the super rich’, while a third said it looked like a ‘jail floor’.

Turns out it’s actually the artwork/opera Sun & Seawho has traveled to different art galleries around the world, each time looking a little different.

The “beach goers” are opera singers, and they sing as the nature around them crumbles.

Many who saw the exhibit raved about it, calling it “amazing”.

“There is less of a sense of doom than an elegy of beautiful sadness,” one audience member wrote.

In 2019, the opera won the coveted Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, while representing Lithuania.

At the time, The Guardian reported that visitors viewed the exhibit from a minstrel’s gallery inside a former naval warehouse in the Arsenal of Venice.

Most recently, the piece was presented at the Museum of Icelandic Art in Reykjavik in June this year for the city’s arts festival, showcasing the black sands of the country’s volcanic coast.

Sun & Sea the project’s curator, Lucia Pietroiusti, has an intriguing description of the exhibit. “Imagine a beach. The scorching sun, the sunscreen and the shiny bathing suits and the sweaty palms and legs,” she said.

“Weary limbs lazily spread out on a patchwork of towels. Imagine the occasional squeal of children, the giggles, the sound of an ice cream van in the distance.

“The musical rhythm of the waves on the surf, a soothing sound. The rustling of plastic bags swirling through the air, their silent floating, like jellyfish, below the waterline. The rumble of a volcano, or an airplane, or a speedboat.

“Then a chorus of songs – everyday songs, songs of worry and boredom, songs of next to nothing. And below them the slow creak of an exhausted Earth, a gasp.

The show runs on a loop for four hours each day and audiences can come and go as they please.

Upcoming tour locations include Helsinki, Barcelona and Lisbon.


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