petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice

‘LUNAR ENSEMBLE FOR UPRISING SEAS’ by PETRIT HALILAJ & ÁLVARO URBANO

 

Berlin-based artists Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano have collaborated on a new installation titled ‘Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas,’ which will be displayed at Ocean Space in Venice, Italy, within the historic deconsecrated San Lorenzo Church. The installation emerges as an evolving ecosystem composed of over 30 large-scale sculptures that represent imaginary creatures in aquatic, terrestrial, and aerial environments, all set under an egg-shaped moon. The installation is free to view from April 22 to November 5, 2023, as part of the Thus Waves Come in Pairs exhibition, curated by Barbara Casavecchia, and co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
installation view of ‘Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas.’ | all images courtesy of the artists, TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet

 

 

an ecosystem of otherworldly sculptures

 

The sculptures in ‘Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas’ are inspired by a popular song in Spain called ‘Ay mi pescadito,’ which portrays young fish going to school to learn about survival and belonging. The installation explores the idea of cohesion and resistance between different species and living organisms and objects. The sculptures come in different shapes and sizes, and their metallic skins reflect sunlight onto the walls, ceilings, and floors of the former church where they are exhibited.  Each sculpture also doubles as a musical instrument and produces sound, but human interaction is necessary to activate it.

 

In essence, through this immersive installation, Petrit Halilaj (find more here) and Álvaro Urbano (find more here) have created an otherworldly ecosystem that challenges our perceptions of what is possible and explores the complexities of coexistence and harmony in the natural world.

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
the sculptures’ metallic skins reflect sunlight onto the walls

 

 

egg-shaped moon that symbolizes our cyclical world 

 

An egg-shaped sculpture floats above the creatures and is covered in a chalky material that resembles the walls of the building. This material symbolizes how everything can be reused and transformed as part of the cyclical nature of our world, evoking possibilities of alternative future forms of life, transformation, and parenthood.

 

Musicians and performers will activate the installation at varying intervals during the exhibition. Halilaj and Urbano will also wear gull costumes for two appearances, situated within the exhibition as sculptures. These costumes represent creatures from the Venice lagoon observing the evolving ecosystem from above and coordinate the shared performance, bringing the collective action of the creatures together.   

 

‘The work blurs our binary sense of the world. An egg-shaped moon, aquatic creatures becoming terrestrial and aerial, an orchestra playing a symphony that emerges from the waters and syncs with the moon cycles; these and more stories guide our show at Ocean Space. The installation echoes a children’s song, where young fish go to school at the bottom of the sea on order to study forms of resistance.’ share Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano.

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
the sculptures represent imaginary creatures in aquatic, terrestrial, and aerial environments

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
the large=scale sculptures come in all shapes and sizes

petrit-halilaj-alvaro-urbano-otherworldly-creatures-egg-shaped-moon-venice-designboom-full-02

an egg-shaped sculpture floats above the creatures

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
each sculpture also doubles as a musical instrument

petrit-halilaj-alvaro-urbano-otherworldly-creatures-egg-shaped-moon-venice-designboom-full-01

the egg-shaped moon is covered in a chalky material that resembles the walls of the building

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
the metallic creatures inside the studio of petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano

petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano unleash an ecosystem of otherworldly creatures in venice
Berlin-based artists petrit halilaj and álvaro urbano

petrit-halilaj-alvaro-urbano-otherworldly-creatures-egg-shaped-moon-venice-designboom-full-03

 

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project info: 

 

name: Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas
artist: Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano
location: San Lorenzo Church, Venice, Italy

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