August 10–28, 2022
The major exhibition ARS22—Living Encounters at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma brings an intense collection of 15 performances from the museum’s regular live art program outside of the Kiasma Theatre and into the galleries. The final event of ARS22 is the Lithuanian opera production Sun & Sea in August 2022. The immersive piece, which addressed the present environmental problem, won the Golden Lion for the Best National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in May 2019.
A visually arresting, comprehensive work of art, Sun & Sea offers a contemporary vision of opera while also releasing climatic tension. With the assistance of 13 soloists and other beach performers, the multidisciplinary group of creators is directed by Lithuanian filmmaker and director Rugil Barzdiukait, author Vaiva Grainyt, and artist and composer Lina Lapelyt.
“Climate change is a complex subject to narrativize because the cold, hard facts of science are difficult to translate into touching human stories. While raising highly topical questions, Sun & Sea expresses humanity’s confused state as we teeter between panic and indifference, paradoxically both victims and villains of the climate crisis “, writes one of the ARS22 curators, Chief Curator of Performing Arts Jonna Strandberg in the exhibition catalogue.
A seemingly carefree scene of holidaymakers having fun—or vainly attempting to have fun—on a fake sandy beach opens the performance. The eclectic group of folks sing their innermost feelings out loud while exchanging personal anecdotes and worrying concerns about the status of the world. The chorus sings in unison, “This year the water is as green as a forest: eutrophication,” which is when the song’s chorus expresses its concern for the ocean.
The performance is still carefree and light, and every now and then, like waves, the vocalists’ perception of some of the effects of climate change appears. However, it quickly fades.
ARS22—Living Encounters develops a space devoted to shared experiences and community while examining the important issues and stories of our time. There are 55 artists or groups represented in the exhibition, representing 26 different nations.
Artists: Marina Abramović & Ulay; Marja Ahti, Jenni Kalliokuju & Essi Kausalainen*; Farah Al Qasimi; Evgeny Antufiev; Alexandra Bachzetsis*; Francis Bacon; Alex Baczynski-Jenkins*; Lewis Baltz; Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė & Lina Lapelytė*; Sol Calero; Pia Camil; Jimmie Durham; Annika Eriksson; Anna Estarriola; Cyprien Gaillard; Sheela Gowda; D Harding; Kholod Hawash; Tehching Hsieh; Donna Huanca; Anna Maria Häkkinen, Erno Aaltonen & Saara Töyrylä*; Ima Idouzee*; Arthur Jafa; Kimmo Kaivanto; Samson Kambalu; Alex Katz; Mira Kautto, Roy Boswell & Ella-Noora Koikkalainen*; Grada Kilomba; Eva Kot’átková; Vojtěch Kovařík; Essi Kuokkanen; Danutė Kvietkevičiūtė; Mervi Kytösalmi-Buhl; Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen; Dafna Maimon*; Luís Lázaro Matos; Joar Nango; Mikko Niemistö*; Tuan Andrew Nguyen; Frida Orupabo; Amanda Piña*; Howardena Pindell; Alexandra Pirici*; Laure Prouvost; Anni Puolakka; Michael Rakowitz, Michele Rizzo*; Pia Maria Roll, Hanan Benammar, Sara Baban & Marius von der Fehr*; SERAFINE1369*; Slavs and Tatars; Joel Slotte; Jenna Sutela; Andra Ursuţa; David Wojnarowicz; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. *performance
The ARS22 exhibition is curated by Leevi Haapala and João Laia together with Kiasma’s curator team Saara Hacklin, Kati Kivinen, Patrik Nyberg, Piia Oksanen, Satu Oksanen, Jonna Strandberg and Jari-Pekka Vanhala. Curator of Sun & Sea is Lucia Pietroiusti, Producer Ausra Simanaviciute and Production/Stage Manager Erika Urbelevic.