Lina Lapelytė

Lina Lapelytė (1984) – artist, musician, composer and performer. Lives and works in Vilnius and London. Her performance-based practice flirts with pop culture, explores gender stereotypes, ageing and nostalgia.

“Have a good day!” choir

“Have a good day!” choir


In 2006 Lapelytė graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with BA in Classical Violin. In 2009 she received her BA’hons from London University of Arts (LCC) in Sound Art, and in 2013 Lapelytė graduated from Royal College of Art (RCA) with MA in Sculpture.

Since 2013 Lapelytė has been a visiting lecturer at the institutions such as The Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, University of the Arts London, Royal College of Arts (London), Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Lapelytė took part in the international residencies and exchange programs in Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Bangalore, India), New Music Incubator residencies in London and Stockholm, Akademie Schloss Solitude residency in Stuttgart, Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, and Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw.

Initially trained as a classical violinist, Lina Lapelytė has developed an ongoing interest and research into experimental music, amateur performance, and historical genres.

Her early creative work was mainly focused on improvised and and electronic music. Lapelytė took part in numerous projects and performed with the established masters of improvisation, including Angharad Davies, David Toop, John Butcher, Anton Lukoszevieze, Eddie Prevost, David Ryan, Peter Cusack, Leafcutter John, Arturas Bumšteinas, Rhodri Davies, Anat Ben David.

In her recent work, Lapelytė traverses between disciplines and explores various forms of performativity. Her works engage trained and untrained performers often in an act of ‘singing’ through a wide range of genres such as mainstream music and opera, while examining issues of displacement, otherness, ageing and gender. The singing takes the form of a collective and affective event that questions vulnerability and silencing.

For her performance Hunky Bluff (2014), Lapelytė investigated the 18th century Catholic tradition of castrating boys to prevent their voices breaking at puberty. By translating the original expressive melodies, known as arias, and rearranging the compositions originally written for male castrati to instead be performed by a chorus of thirteen low pitched female voices, Lapelytė reversed the dynamic of the compositions.

In the series of performances Candy Shop (2013/2015) rap songs become lullabies and Status Quo numbers fade into feats of feminist sonic endurance, gestures from well-known West Coast hip hop lyrics mutate into a piece of chamber music and dance class – restaged semiotic overturns of gender hierarchies.

By ‘unlearning’ their classical formation, and internalising the resonating dynamics between visual and sound art, Lapelytė unsettles the passive/active foundation of listening.

In 2013 her creative collaboration with Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Vaiva Grainytė led to the creation of the contemporary opera Have a Good Day! which is a story of the ten cashiers and their invisible lives. The opera was shown in dozens of international festivals around the world, received six international awards, and was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 (UK) and LRT (Lithuania). The opera-performance Sun & Sea (2017) was the second project the trio co-created, and it has been chosen to represent Lithuania at the 58th Venice Biennale 2019.

Lapelytė is actively participating in various shows both in Lithuania and abroad. Her personal shows were held in several institutions, including David Roberts Art Foundation Gallery (London, 2014), Rupert Centre for Art and Education (Vilnius, 2017).

Her performance works Hunky Bluff, Ladies, Pirouette, Candy Shop were shown in various contexts and locations including the Serpentine (London, 2014), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, 2014), MACBA (Barcelona, 2017), and Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain (Paris, 2019).

Her work has been featured in numerous international group shows, including Waiting for Another Coming (Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, 2018), Give up the Ghost! (13th Baltic Triennial, Tallinn, 2018), Undersong at the KIM? Contemporary Art Centre (Riga, 2018), Magma at the Vilnius National Art Gallery (Vilnius, 2017), Public Movement at the Moderna Museet (Malmö, 2017), FIAC (Paris, 2017), the Tectonics festival (Tel Aviv, 2017), the Project Space 1857 (Oslo, 2017), Why Patterns? at the De Vleeshal (Middelbourg, Holland, 2017), Peculiar People at the Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea (UK, 2016), Double Bind at NILO (Reykjavik, 2016) and Rupert (Vilnius, 2015), Venice Biennale of Architecture (Venice, 2016), Picnic Session at the CA2M Contemporary Art Museum (Madrid, 2015), Listening, Hayward touring show (UK, 2015), Block Universe (London, 2015), Baltic CCA (Newcastle, 2014), Eye and Lens at the Whitechapel Gallery (London, 2014).

List of awards:
2019 The opera-performance Sun & Sea (Marina) (co-authors: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Vaiva Grainytė) won Lithuania the Golden Lion for the best national participation at the Venice Biennale of Art.
2018 The Borisas Dauguvietis Ring Award for the innovative and original approaches in her work with Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė.
2018 Nominated at the Global Lithuania Awards.
2015 The Young Artist Award (Lithuania).
2015 Main Prize at Fast Forward the European Festival for New Directors (Braunschweig, Germany).
2014 Nominated at the Arts Foundation Futures Awards (UK).
2014 Her trio with Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė received the Golden Cross of the Stage Award for the best production by Lithuanian authors.
2014 Two awards at the Baltic Theatres festival (Latvia) for “sensitivity toward the social reality” and “dramaturgy”.
2012 The opera Have a Good Day! (co-created with Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė) received the Globe Teana-Theatre Observation Award at the Music Theatre NOW Competition organised by the International Theatre Institute (Jönköping, Sweden)

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