The winner of Venice Art Biennale 2019

Photo via @labiennale

Venice Biennale is the most prestigious international art exhibitions in the world, with more than 500,000 visitors and a 123-year-long history, and this year’s top prize winner is Lithuania.

The Golden Lion for Best National Participation goes to Lithuania’s pavilion, with “Sun & Sea (Marina)”, an opera sung by performers and volunteers portraying everyday people, in a critique of leisure and our times.


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The swimsuited performers sunbathe lying on towels, chat, read, apply sun lotion and play board games on an artificial beach while they sing about ecological disasters like climate change and species extinction. It manages to be “joyful and melancholic at the same time”, as Catherine Wood, a curator from the Tate in London, explained.

The winning performance piece that mixes theatre, opera, visual arts and literature, was presented by the artists Lina Lapelyte, Vaiva Grainyte and Rugile Barz.


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The curator of the Lithuanian Pavilion, Lucia Pietroiusti, who’s also the curator at the Serpentine Galleries in London, said that “Sun & Sea (Marina) is the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that resonates in the present time” because “the exhibition format is begging for a certain kind of opening up of possibilities.

Lithuania won among other 89 national pavilions, which is not a small feat!


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According to the jury of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Lithuania was awarded because of the experimental spirit of the pavilion. The board was impressed with “the inventive use of the venue to present a Brechtian opera as well as the Pavilion’s engagement with the city of Venice and its inhabitants.”

La Biennale di Venezia is organised in three sections; the exhibitions by national Pavilions, the International Exhibition and the Collateral Events.

The Art Biennale ends on the 24th of November, so you still have plenty of time to visit it!


By Selma

I am the editor-in-chief of and co-founder of I have also been working as creative director at, a marketing agency headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with offices in Hamburg, Germany, and Madrid, Spain.