Biennale Opening program at Ocean Space
May 19 – May 20, 2023
Ocean Space, Venice

Design: bruno
Simone Fattal, “Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai!”, 2023. Exhibition views of “Thus waves come in pairs”, Ocean Space, Venice. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: gerdastudio.
Performance by Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano, April 21, 2023 at Ocean Space, Venice. Co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary. Courtesy of the Artists and ChertLüdde, Berlin; kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York; Mennour, Paris; Travesía Cuatro, Madrid / Mexico City / Guadalajara. Photo: gerdastudio.
Photo: Enrico Fiorese
Ocean Space Venice

TBA21–Academy’s public program at Ocean Space encourages the creation of transformative visions for the future nurtured through participatory practices and experiences. The program is conceived and developed alongside each exhibition on view at Ocean Space in Venice from April to October, applying TBA21–Academy’s practice of disseminating local ecological knowledge through cultural programming. Our aim is to raise environmental awareness and support regenerative ways of living by developing a community of care and concern around bodies of water, starting from the Venice Lagoon. The majority of this year’s public program flows from the three-year curatorial fellowship program The Current III Mediterraneans: Thus waves come in pairs (after Etel Adnan), 2021–2023, led by Barbara Casavecchia. Visitors will be able to experience the results of the three-year research commitment through the exhibition Thus waves come in pairscurated by Barbara Casavecchia, comprising two new commissions at Ocean Space in Venice — Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai! (Free man, you’ll love the ocean endlessly!) by Simone Fattal and Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas by Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano.

TBA21’s ongoing commitment to raising questions around food sovereignty and the food industry’s ecological impact, which we have explored through last year’s research program Convivial Tables, is strengthened in this year’s collaboration with the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 in FOODSCAPES, curated by Eduardo Castillo-Vinuesa and Manuel Ocaña. In shared sessions, co-produced with TBA21–Academy at Ocean Space, FOODSCAPES will invite experts and architects to discuss ecosystemic implications of the digestion, production, distribution, foundation, and consumption of food and the role that architecture can play in implementing a more resilient agri-food model. 
Ocean Space, Venice
Chiesa di San Lorenzo
Castello 5069, Venezia

Opening hours:
Wednesday–Sunday, 11 am–6 pm
Friday, May 19

11 am​
Artist talk: Simone Fattal & Omar Berrada
In conversation with Barbara Casavecchia

12 pm​
Artist talk: Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano
In conversation with Barbara Casavecchia & Audrey Teichmann

The publication Thus Waves Come in Pairs. Thinking with the Mediterraneans will be launched in conjunction with the artist talks.

With their works, Simone Fattal and Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano tell stories that lead us to imagine pasts and futures in which our understanding of the world is transformed by encounters with the Other. Introduced by the curator Barbara Casavecchia, the artist talks will focus on their artistic practices and the respective installations created for the exhibition Thus waves come in pairs.

Registration is not required | Learn more about the artist talks

7 pm​
Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas
Performance by Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano

This event requires registration.
Register here | Learn more about the performance

Saturday, May 20

11:30 am​
Critical Sessions
Five conversations around the Digestion, Consumption, Production, Distribution and Foundation of Food
Please note this event takes place at the Spanish Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale.

Registration is not required.

5 pm
Xholobeni Yards: Titanium and the planetary making of shininess/dustiness
Presentation of the project by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in conversation with Markus Reymann, Nonhle Mmbutuma Forslund, Sinegugu Zukulu, Siyabonga Nndovela, Margie Pretorius and Farah Alkhoury.

Registration is not required | Learn more about the event

Ocean Space’s 2023 public program is kindly supported by Select Aperitivo and Venezia FC. For more information about Ocean Spaces' ongoing public program click here.