The black volcanic beach was crowded with our beloved singers, almost 80 (!) amazing volunteering beachgoers and lovely audience! Such an extraordinary experience for two summer days in Iceland, as part of the Listahátíð í Reykjavík / Reykjavik Arts Festival, in collaboration with the Reykjavík Art Museum.
Book launch event of the collage novel Roses and Potatoes in conversation with Jungian psychotherapist Egidija Šeputytė at Kaunas Botanical Garden at the International Congress “CoHappiness. Rewilding & Rethinking”.
“Sun and Sea” is in Rotterdam May 25–29, 2022. This time the performance’s artificial beach pops up at the former gas storehouse from the 1920s, Ferro Dom, as part of the O. festival.
A collage novel
The main theme of the bilingual (Lithuanian and English) collage novel “Roses and Potatoes” is happiness. But the author Vaiva Grainytė examines this phenomenon from a different perspective than normal – intellectually and ironically, playfully and phantasmagorically deconstructing the stereotypical concept of happiness embedded in contemporary culture.
In a world which has ground to a halt due to the pandemic, the novel’s main protagonists and allegorical figures each seek happiness, or reflect on it or affirm it, in their own particular way: Davis in Canada, agonising over his articles, Vika living in isolation, brothers connected by calculations and genetic tests, a woman suffering from cancer, a mouse searching for a morsel to eat, an owl disregarding ancient theories of warmth, a virus looking for a more spacious place to live, and Denmark nominated as one of the happiest countries of the world.
The fragments of the characters’ everyday lives – letters, dreams, diary extracts, social media posts, alter egopassages – are all creatively combined with the rhetoric of essays and articles, and with topical issues, and juxtaposed with cultural and historical intertexts and knowledge of sociology, psychology, zoology, and phrenology. All this intrigue – a surrealist mosaic of miniatures of happiness – is permeated by themes on the fringes of melancholy: loneliness, burnout, forebodings of disaster, the diktat of conventional norms, and the longing for closeness.
Translated by: Karla Gruodis Edited by: Jeremy Hill Design: Zigmantas Butautis
Format / pages: paperback / 324 pages
Publisher: Baltos lankos
Launch of the collage novel Roses and Potatoes at Kaunas Puppet Theater at the International Kaunas Literature Week. In conversation with the journalist Kotryna Lingienė and art critic Vaidas Jauniškis.
Sun and Sea listening edition, 2022
Castello di Rivoli ESPRESSIONI CON FRAZIONI
April 24 – November 25, 2022
The replica of a solitary beach cabin installed on the front lawn of the Castello di Rivoli museum evokes daydreaming and socialising on holiday. In the beach cabin, visitors can listen to the recorded songs of Sun & Sea; memories of the songs, of their fragmented stories and of the scattered melodies of the beachgoers invite the audience to embrace pandemic and post-pandemic existences. On the occasion of the exhibition ESPRESSIONI CON FRAZIONI, the filmmaker, theatre director and visual artist Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė with the writer, playwright and poet Vaiva Grainytė and with the artist and composer Lina Lapelytė present Sun & Sea listening edition (2022), a mixed media installation derived from of the opera-performance Sun & Sea (Marina).
Gorilla’s Archives is a poetry collection by Vaiva Grainytė. It was nominated for the Book of the Year awards, and included in the top twelve listings of the most creative books in Lithuania (2019).
“Paradoxes, the juxtapositions of unexpected opposites, the personifications of inanimate objects—all these are found in myths, folklore, and primal rituals, which were all a source for the avant-garde classics. I believe that the folk tales of various cultures, medical encyclopedias, various reference books on nature and distant lands, which I had read up until my late teenage years, finally caught up to me in the form of yet another close “brother” of mine—which is twentieth-century modernism. But even though I feel a kindred spirit with this mental relative of mine, I keep a distance between us—as important as dreams or the subconscious world are, I began to focus equally enough on the domestic environment, political context, and reality. And reality is replete with bizarre and phantasmagoric features—a ready-made surrealism.” (VG)
“I’d like to call Grainytė’s poetry neo-avant-garde: as this type of poetry is very scarce in Lithuania, Grainytė’s texts are reminiscent of the writing style of Keturi vėjai, practiced during the interwar period, when the first real Lithuanian avant-garde corresponded smoothly with the “straw-like” details of the Lithuanian countryside. This harmony is also present in Grainytė’s poetry, as the author is open to ecological issues, her lifestyle is not purely urban, and her language connects fragments of nature and modernity […]
Such writing style is not very frequent in Lithuania: the poet intentionally mixes up the grammatical gender of the word “Sun,” applies the avant-garde collage principle, takes up a negligent observer’s posture, and uses a semantically condensed language. The title of the book is also quite unusual: the rather coarse image of a gorilla doesn’t offer any sweet talk to the reader; on the contrary, it’s almost disturbing, a little like Luis Buñuel’s An Andalusian Dog. Grainytė’s not imitating any Lithuanian poet and has no tendency of obeying the authority-based poetic tradition so characteristic of this country. This fairly untypical style also includes some postmodern techniques, such as the use of insignificant numbers, prices, information from receipts, and all sorts of mundane details”
—G.Kazlauskaitė’s review What a Vile Duke is the Sun
A text-based sculpture at CAC, Vilnius
Vaiva Grainytė’s Stars Full of Bacteria is the first text-based sculpture to be shown in the CAC Sculpture Yard. The piece becomes part of a temporary partition that was created after the demolition of a brick fence that separated the CAC Sculpture Yard from Mėsinių Street.
Stars full of bacteria
Will sour the sky.
Stars will turn the sky
Into an infinity of kefir.
The haiku (translated by Rimas Uzgiris), dealing with transformation and change and having acquired a sculptural body in this space, inherits extra layers of meaning: symbolically reflecting the act of demolition and waiting for the reconstruction of the CAC building, as well as depicting the situation of present time; a subject of constant change.
Conceptual band consisting of two pairs of musical twins: duets of twin sisters and twin brothers
The bilingual folk-pop rock concert commissioned for the opening of the MO museum ironically refers to the actual museum’s collection, questions the role of the new institution and explores the tension between the original and the copy.
Concept: Vaiva Grainytė, Arturas Bumšteinas
Lyrics, scenario: Vaiva Grainytė
Music: Arturas Bumšteinas
Performers: Teresė Andrijauskaitė, Milda Andrijauskaitė-Bakanauskienė, Mantas Augustaitis, Gediminas Augustaitis
Duration: 40 min.
MO museum, Vilnius
Puppet grotesque for adults based on Alfred Jarry’s play King Ubu
Director, designer, author of the adaptation: Neville Tranter (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Author of the poetic translation and adaptation to Lithuanian language, cursing consultant and director’s assistant: Vaiva Grainytė
Composer: Faustas Latėnas
Performers: Šarūnas Dantenis, Šarūnas Gedvilas, Lijana Muštašvili, Imantas Precas
Duration: 70 min.
Premiere: 29 November 2018
Vilnius Theatre LĖLĖ
Site-specific promenade performance
When we met her in Hong Kong, she was just about to leave somewhere we haven’t been. She invited us to take a stroll in the labyrinth of her head, full of stories that have crossed our life. Shared memories – the library of flashbacks spinning like her restless being, still like trees – is a journey through the landscapes and atmospheres.
Lyrics: Vaiva Grainytė
Choreographers and performers: Agnija Šeiko (LT), Annika Ostwald (No)
Dramaturg: PeO Sanders (SE)
Composer: Magnus Bugge (NO)
→ April 2, 2017
Nordbahnhof. Lithuanian Dance Festival. Berlin, Germany
→ October 25, 2016
Terminal bus station. Reykjavik, Iceland
→ October 12-14, 2016
Rasos area. „Keðja 2016”, platform for the Nordic-Baltic contemporary dance. Vilnius, Lithuania
→ October 4, 2016
Kjelsas train station. Oslo, Norway
→ October 1, 2016
Train station. Floda, Sweden
→ August 18-19, 2016
Train station. Klaipėda, Lithuania
Award-winning radio play of a radio drama contest initiated by LRT.
Radio play Axis Deviation by Vaiva Grainytė is set as a driving class. The structure of quotidian and witty dialogues between the female Student and the male Driving Instructor are based on the 18th century poem The Season written by Lutheran priest Kristijonas Donelaitis. Axis Deviation tackles the topic of ecology, environmental awareness and opens up ideological clashes of different generations. Aiming to diminish theatricality of predominant acting style and to reject steril studio sound, the play by the creative team was authentically recorded on an actual car drive.
Director: Saulė Norkutė
Sound director: Vladas Dieninis
Commissioned by Lithuanian National Radio and Television, broadcasted on LRT
Student: Gabrielė Malinauskaitė
Driving Instructor: Vidmantas Vielkauskas
Radio voices: Ana Miščenko, Jolanta Kryževičienė
→ www.lrt.lt/mediateka/ (in LT)
A contemporary opera for 10 singing cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano
by Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė.
The opera focuses on the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre: showing what lies behind their mechanical ‘Good afternoon!’, ‘Thank you!’, ‘Have a good day!’ and fake smiles. It transforms the faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life into unique and lively characters, whereas their secret thoughts and biographies turn into short, personal dramas. The characters of diverse sales clerks, embodying universal archetypes, convey the predominant social landscape. The libretto represents a revealing mosaic of spoken, literary language and documentary.
Concept by Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Librettist: Vaiva Grainytė
Composer and music director: Lina Lapelytė
Director and set designer: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Lighting designer: Eugenijus Sabaliauskas
Costume designer: Daiva Samajauskaitė
Sound engineer: Arūnas Zujus
The libretto has been translated into English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Estonian, Latvian, Chinese (mandarin).
→ February, 2023
Teatri di Vita/Art City Bologna (Bologna, Italy)
→ August, 2022
International Visaginas theatre festival (Visaginas, Lithuania)
→ April, 2022
Arts Printing House (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ February, 2022
Thalia Theater. Lessingtage festival (Hamburg, Germany)
→ August, 2021
Kaunas State Musical Theatre. Pažaislis Music Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania)
→ April, 2020
Arts Printing House (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ 5 April, 2019
Arts Printing House (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ 8 May, 2018
Teatro Argentina (Rome, Italy)
→ 18 May 2017
Operadagen Rotterdam, Classical:NEXT (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
→ 10 March 2017
EUROPOLY FESTIVAL, Teatro Maria Matos (Lisbon, Portugal)
→ 7-8 December 2016
MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM FESTIVAL (Tallinn, Estonia)
→ 22 November 2016
BOREALES FESTIVAL (Caen, France)
→ 6-7 October 2016
SIRENOS (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ 24 September 2016
GOGOLFEST (Kiev, Ukraine)
→ 2-3 September 2016
BASEL THEATRE FESTIVAL (Basel, Switzerland)
→ 17 May 2016
THEATRE CORNOUAILLE (Quimper, France)
→ 20-21 February 2016
EUROPOLY (Munich, Germany)
→ 19-20 November 2015
Festival FAST FORWARD (Braunschweig, Germany)
→ 30-31 May 2015
Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne CDN (Dijon, France)
→ 27-28 May 2015
Festival HORIZON, La Filature (Mulhouse, France)
→ 22-23 May 2015
MC2, (Grenoble, France)
→ 13-15 May 2015
Festival PASSAGES, Théâtre du Saulcy (Metz, France)
→ 30-31 March 2015
EXIT festival (Creteil, France)
→ 20 November 2014
Le Bateau Feu (Dunkerque, France)
→ 17-18 November 2014
NEXT festival La Rose Des Vents (Lille, France)
→ 13-14 November 2014
AUTOMNE EN NORMANDIE festival (Le Havre, France)
→ 17 September 2014
BALTIC THEATRE FESTIVAL (Riga, Latvia)
→ 8 March 2014
International Theatre Festival GOLDEN MASK (Moscow, Russia)
→ 14 January 2014
BBC3 radio broadcast
→ 15-20 January 2014
International Contemporary Music Festival PROTOTYPE (New York, USA)
→ 18-19 November 2013
International Contemporary Theatre Festival ACT 2013 (Shanghai, China)
→ 14 November 2013
International Contemporary Music festival IŠ ARTI (Kaunas, Lithuania)
→ 10 November 2013
live broadcast from LRT radio concert’s studio
→ 28 September 2013
International Theatre festival SIRENOS’13 (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ 11 April 2011
Contemporary Art Center (Vilnius, Lithuania)
A book of essays
A debut book of essays, written in a diaristic manner during a year lived in Beijing, while studying Chinese in a Central Drama Academy, encountering traditional and official medicine while being ill, skipping classes for a solitary trip to Inner Mongolia or Yellow Mountain, dressing as Algerian for the Horticulture Expo Fair in Shian or being consumed by Beijing opera and art house Chinese cinema. Sharp observer’s eye, avid traveler’s curiosity and trickster’s nature manifested in amusing anthropological miniatures.
Beijing Diaries (2012) was nominated for the Book of the Year awards, and included in the top twelve listings of the most creative books in Lithuania and awarded the Augustinas Gricius prize.
Read an excerpt translated into English here.
Format / pages: paperback / 254 pages
Publisher: Vaga, Vilnius
- Shearsman magazine 123 & 124 Spring/Summer 2020
- Vilnius Review. Contemporary Literature from Lithuania, 2019
- Druskininkai Poetic Fall 2019
- Reading a poem, subtitled in English, Vilnius Review project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8wdCTttmjk
- https://www.klakverlag.de/produkt/teufelsdutzend-lyrik-aus-litauen/ (traslated by Markus Roduner)
- Die Horen 1/2022 (translated by Claudia Sinnig)
- International Poesiefestival Berlin, 2021
- A Selection of Poems by Contemporary Lithuanian Poets From the Jerusalem of the North, 2020 (LT-EN-HEBREW, translated by Rimas Uzgiris and Siven Beskin)
Regina Band, 2009-2012
The only bigger mammal, 2008
Sugyvulinos latakams, 2001
Vilnius Talking Sculptures: Story of Literatų street Wall
20. Literatų street Wall
More than 200 artistic tributes to literateurs who lived and worked in Vilnius
Literatų str. 8, 2009
Curator: Eglė Vertelkaitė / Text by Vaiva Grainytė / Recorded by Rimantė Valiukaitė
“Can I call myself an activist if I made a work on climate change? Is passivity more profound (and effective?) than a loud virtue signaling in the era of the apocalypse?”
Vaiva Grainytė addressed these questions in the presentation “Hypocrisy of a Jellyfish” on her personal approach to ecology, consumption, poetry and dairy products at Jerusalem’s Manofim contemporary art festival.
The Unification of the World or how the Whisker has set free the Nightingale’s Meadows and the Bear’s Heart, 2022 (in LT)
Radio story for the kids flirting with the genres of allegory and utopia, refers to the current Russia’s genocide actions in Ukraine
The Night Lyrics (in LT)
Vaiva reads her poetry at LRT radio: https://www.lrt.lt/mediateka/irasas/2000130997/vakaro-lyrika-vaiva-grainyte-skaito-savo-eiles
Story of The Heart Donor (EN subtitles)
Project initiated by the Lithuanian National Art Museum “30 Art Works, 30 creatros, 30 Weeks”, stories by 30 renowned Lithuanian artists. Vaiva Grainytė shares her thoughts on the sculpture Heart Donor by Stanislovas Kuzma (1987) exhibited at the National Gallery of Art.