Category Archives for works

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
ISBN: 9786094795688
Publisher: Baltos lankos
Year: 2022

International order: 

Read an excerpt translated into English here.

An opera-performance
by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė

Concept and development: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė

Direction and scenography: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Libretto: Vaiva Grainytė (translation from Lithuanian into English – Rimas Uzgiris)
Music and musical direction: Lina Lapelytė

Imagine a beach – you within it, or better: watching from above – the burning sun, sunscreen and bright bathing suits and sweaty palms and legs. Tired limbs sprawled lazily across a mosaic of towels. Imagine the occasional squeal of children, laughter, the sound of an ice cream van in the distance. The musical rhythm of waves on the surf, a soothing sound (on this particular beach, not elsewhere). The crinkling of plastic bags whirling in the air, their silent floating, jellyfish-like, below the waterline. The rumble of a volcano, or of an airplane, or a speedboat. Then a chorus of songs: everyday songs, songs of worry and of boredom, songs of almost nothing. And below them: the slow creaking of an exhausted Earth, a gasp. (Lucia Pietroiusti)

Producer (tour): Aušra Simanavičiūtė
Curator: Lucia Pietroiusti
Production Manager/Stage Manager: Erika Urbelevič
Technical Director: Lique Van Gerven
Sound Engineer: Romuald Chaloin Galiauskas
Singing Performers: Svetlana Bagdonaitė, Evaldas Alekna, Aliona Alymova, Teresė Andrijauskaitė, Milda Andrijauskaitė-Bakanauskienė, Arūnas Arlauskas, Marco Cisco, Nabila Dandara Vieira Santos, Saulė Dovydėnaitė, Auksė Dovydėnaitė, Claudia Graziadei, Sandro Hähnel, Elisabeth Holmer, Lucas Lopes Pereira, Artūras Miknaitis, Daniel Monteagudo Garcia, Yates Norton, Eglė Paškevičienė, Vytautas Pastarnokas, Salomėja Petronytė, Kalliopi Petrou, Ieva Skorubskaitė, Elisabetta Trevenzuoli, Annapaola Trevenzuoli
Communication: Lina Vaitiekūnaitė, Jogintė Bučinskaitė

The libretto of the piece has been translated into English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Icelandic, Finnish, Hebrew, Polish, Russian.

More info:
→  Sun & Sea (Marina) album
→  Libretto (EN)

Upcoming tours

→ May 30 – June 1, 2024
Singapore International Festival of Arts, Singapore


→ 15-19 September, 2023 
Festival d’Automne à Paris, Paris

→ 19-27 August, 2023 
Taipei Arts Festival, Taiwan

→ 23-25 June, 2023 
Cork Midsummer Festival, Ireland

→ 19-23 May, 2023 
Wiener Festwochen, Vienna

→ 16-19 March 2023 
Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires
→ 27-30 January 2023 
Fundacion Teatro a Mil/ Santiago a Mil International Festival, Chile

→ 6-8 January 2023 
Sydney Festival
→ 5-13 December 2022
Vilnius taxi park
→ 5-6 November 2022
Teatro Municipal do Porto – Rivoli
→ 11-12 November 2022
Alkantara Festival, Lisbon
→ 12-23 October 2022
Teatre Lliure, Barcelona
→ 15-19 September 2022
The Isreal Festival
→ 9-11 September 2022
Wiesbaden Biennale
→ 9-28 August 2022
Kiasma, Helsinki Festival
→ 23 June-10 July 2022 
LIFT Festival, Serpentine, Back to Earth, We Are Lewisham at The Albany, London
→ 4-5 June 2022
Reykjavík Arts Festival
→ 25-29 May 2022
O. Festival for Opera.Music.Theatre, Rotterdam
→ 25-27 March 2022
Klarafestival, Théâtre Les Tanneurs, Brussels
→ 15-22 December 2021
Vilnius Taxi Park, Lithuania
→ 19-21 November 2021
New European Theatre Festival, Moscow
→ 2-14 November 2021
Malmö Konsthall
→ 14-16 October 2021
The Hammer, MOCA, and CAP UCLA at MOCA, Los Angeles
→ 6-9 October 2021
The Momentary, Bentonville, AR
→ 30 September-3 October 2021
Arcadia Exhibitions, Arcadia University, Philadelphia
→ 15-26 September 2021
BAM – Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York
→ 1-2 September 2021
Athens Epidaurus Festival
→ 17-18 July 2021
POWER NIGHT, E-Werk Luckenwalde
→ 22 June-4 July 2021
Teatro Argentina, Rome
→ 29 May-1 June 2021
CPH Stage/Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen
→ 9-11 October 2020
Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, Hanover
→ 13-16, 18-19 & 21-24 August 2020
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich, Switzerland
→ 7-8 March 2020
Borealis, Bergen, Norway
→ March 2018
Staatsschauspielhaus Dresden, Germany
→ 11 May-31 October 2019
Sun & Sea (Marina), Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Golden Lion for Best National Participation

Poetry collection

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

Design: Jurgis Griškevičius Format / pages: paperback / 128 pages
ISBN: 978-609-480-081-8
Publisher: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla (Lithuanian Writers’ Union Publishing House)
Year: 2019

Read translated excerpts in
English, German, Swedish or Hebrew.

A text-based sculpture at CAC, Vilnius

photo: Andrej Vasilenko

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
November, 2018

Puppet grotesque for adults based on Alfred Jarry’s play King Ubu

Photo: Dmitrij Matvejev

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 

photo: Kristijonas Lučinskas

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

Radio play

photos: Laima Stasiulionytė

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

See also:
→ (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
Producer: Operomanija

The libretto has been translated into English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Estonian, Latvian, Chinese (mandarin).

More info:
→  Vinyl record


→ 18-19 June, 2024
Biennale Teatro (Venice, Italy)

→ 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 
→ 22 November 2016
→ 6-7 October 2016 
SIRENOS (Vilnius, Lithuania)
→ 24 September 2016
GOGOLFEST (Kiev, Ukraine)
→ 2-3 September 2016 
→ 17 May 2016 
→ 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
→ 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
ISBN: 978-5-415-02251-9
Publisher: Vaga, Vilnius
Year: 2012


  • 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



  • 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)


Read translated excerpts in
English, German, Swedish or Hebrew.

Regina Band, 2009-2012

experimental free jazz punk band / audio poetry
voice / lyrics, casio: Vaiva Grainytė, saxophone: Gražvydas Kardokas, drums, percussion: Arūnas Periokas, bass guitar: Mindaugas Borisa

The only bigger mammal, 2008

Saulė’s Norkutė’s animation on Vaiva Grainytė’s poetry

Sugyvulinos latakams, 2001

Experimental-avantgarde teen all-girl band (Kotryna Čalkaitė, Milda Čiučiulkaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Ieva Pukelytė, Akvilė Rėklaitytė) at International Avantgarde music festival Didelis pasaulis

A selection of essays in translation

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

Conference/Performative Monologue

“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:

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.