Artists Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano will unveil a new site-specific installation at TBA21–Academy’s Ocean Space, Venice, Italy—within the historic San Lorenzo Church—opening 22 April 2023 until 5 November 2023. Co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary, the installation is part of Thus waves come in pairs, Ocean Space’s 2023 exhibition curated by Barbara Casavecchia, a Milan-based independent contemporary art curator and critic. The curatorial team at Audemars Piguet Contemporary and Casavecchia are working closely together with Halijaj and Urbano to develop and support the creation of the co-commissioned installation.

“The work blurs our binary sense of the world. An egg-shaped moon, aquatic creatures becoming terrestrial, an orchestra playing a symphony that emerges from the waters and syncs with the moon cycles; these and more stories guide our work at Ocean Space. The installation echoes a children’s song, where young fish go to study at the bottom of the sea in order to study—as we see it—forms of resistance.”

Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano (Artists)

Berlin-based artists Petrit Halilaj (b. 1986) and Álvaro Urbano (b. 1983) share a life together yet typically maintain separate practices. Halilaj’s work embraces an array of media and creates complex worlds that provide space for freedom, desire, intimacy, and identity. Urbano utilises various media to explore notions of space, architecture, and the environment. His practice often intertwines narrative, reality, and fiction. Together, the duo draws on their personal experience and on collective histories to create new environments, exploring and negotiating the space between two realities: the human and the natural world. Both of their practices imbue personal, playful elements that work to ask questions of societal norms.

The installation will occupy half of the deconsecrated San Lorenzo Church, reflecting on its unique architecture, alongside a new commission by artist Simone Fattal, also on view at Ocean Space as part of the exhibition Thus waves come in pairs.