Copper Lick – the public art project by Lina Lapelytė in Munich

March 20, 2024
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Copper Lick, the new project by renowned Lithuanian artist and composer Lina Lapelytė, will premiere on March 19 at 5pm in the inner-city green area of the Isarauen close to Kabelsteg at the invitation of Public Art München. With Copper Lick Lina Lapelytė is creating a listening space and performance specifically for Munich—a weekly ritual that re-evaluates the gravity of church bells and the importance of the human voice.

With her latest project, Lina Lapelytė welcomes Munich on a collective auditory experience. Based on the sound of church bells—an integral part of Munich’s soundscape—Lapelytė’s project aims to foreground this acoustic landscape by creating a monumental composition for Munich’s bells, juxtaposing it with the singing of human voices. This conversation of the grand and the fragile is framed by a specially-made stone sculpture whose parabolic shape, designed together with Mantas Peteraitis architecture studio, intercepts and reflects the surrounding bell sounds. In a city where silence is elusive, Lapelytė’s creation offers an ongoing dialogue between the familiar tolls, enriching Munich’s cultural tapestry with a new-found sonic experience.

From March 19, a sequence of weekly events unveils Lapelytė’s musical performance, seamlessly integrating singing voices within a composition for the surrounding church bells. Framed by the stone sculpture, whose organic shape was carved from a singular 400 million-year-old limestone boulder found in Lithuania, performers facilitate a dialogue between the human element and the acoustics of the city, embodying tenderness and intimacy within the grandeur of urban infrastructure.

Outside performance times, Copper Lick becomes a sonic mirror of Munich’s essence. It challenges the perception of sound amplification, questioning what we choose to hear and what remains ignored.

Situated in the Isarauen of Munich’s city centre, Copper Lick will create a meeting space for passers-by for 90 days—a listening point, amplifier and sound mirror of the acoustic urban landscape. In the combination of city bells and live performance, a temporary mix of materiality, space and rituals of coming together and listening is created.

Lina Lapelytė (*1984 Lithuania, lives and works in London and Vilnius) is one of the most important contemporary artists in the Baltic region. She is known for her opera-performance “Sun & Sea” made with Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Vaiva Grainytė, which won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Lapelytė’s practice is rooted in music, and flirts with pop culture, gender stereotypes, and nostalgia. 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. The singing takes the form of a collective and affective event that questions vulnerability and silencing. Her works were shown at Frac des Pays de la Loire, Nantes; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Gherdeina Biennale, Gröden; Haus der Kunst München; Moca, Los Angeles; Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong; Glasgow International; Riga Biennial; Kunsthalle Praha; National Gallery of Art, Vilnius; Moderna Museet, Malmö; Venice Art Biennale; Serpentine, London; amongst others.

Artist: Lina Lapelytė / Architect: Mantas Peteraitis Architecture Studio / Production: Sara Mack I freispiel Kulturagentur / Assistance Munich: Nora Giersiepen / Communication: Claudia Illi, Valentina Toso / Research Assistants: Agnė Kuprytė, Ieva Gudaitytė, Povilas Gumbis, Liam Murtaugh, Sandra Senavaitytė.

Participating churches: Münchner Dom, St. Lukas, St. Maximilian, St. Nikolai am Gasteig, Loretokapelle am Gasteig, St. Johann Baptist. Bell activators: Gerhard Kollmer, Markus Meyer, Johann Wunderer.

Location: Corner of Kabelsteg Bridge / Meillerweg / Zellstraße, D-81667 Munich

Opening reception with artist: Tue March 19, 2024, 5pm
Running time: March 19–June 18, 2024
Weekly activations: Tuesdays at 5pm

Free admission.