Sun & Sea: Opera Artwork Is ‘The Strangest I’ve Ever Seen’

It’s meant to amaze those lucky enough to witness it, but what’s happening in this photo puts some people off.

Bikini-clad women stretch out on beach towels while sunbathing, while men in shorts relax and children build sandcastles.

But there is a twist; these people are not on the beach. Instead, they are in a building and there are fully clothed spectators watching from above, watching closely every movement.

The photo has taken some social media users by surprise, with comments that it resembles a scene from a bizarre prison movie.

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

“This has to be hands down the weirdest footage I’ve seen in my entire life… It’s pretty crazy, pretty wild, beautiful out there.”

Another commented that it could be like a “prison for the super rich”, while a third said it looks like a “prison floor”.

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

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

Many who have seen the screen raved about it, calling it “extraordinary”.

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

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

At the time, the guard reported that visitors looked down at the display from a minstrel’s gallery in an old naval warehouse in the Arsenale in Venice.

More recently, the piece was on display at Iceland’s Reykjavik Art Museum in June this year for the city’s art festival, featuring black sand from the volcanic country’s coastline.

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

Tired limbs lay lazily over a mosaic of towels. Imagine the occasional screams of children, laughter, the sound of an ice cream truck in the distance.

“The musical rhythm of waves on the surf, a soothing sound. The crackle of plastic bags whirling in the air, their silent floating, jellyfish-like, 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 almost nothing. And beneath it the slow crack of an exhausted earth, a sigh.’

The performance runs continuously for four hours a day and the audience can come and go as they please.

Upcoming tour locations include Helsinki, Barcelona and Lisbon.

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