Born in 1986 in Kostërc (Kosovo), PETRIT HALILAJ lives and works in-between Germany, Kosovo and Italy. His work is deeply connected with the recent history of his country, and the consequences of the political and cultural tensions in the region. But while confronting a collective memory, his work often originates from a personal experience and it is usually the result of an intimate process and a shared moment with someone he loves. His unique, and sometimes irreverent, way to playfully confront the essence of reality results in a deep reflection on memory, freedom, cultural identity and life discoveries. Kamel Mennour and Petrit Halilaj have been working together since 2014.
Petrit Halilaj’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; New Museum, NYC; the Fondazione Merz, Turin; the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Hangar Bicocca, Milan; the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; the National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina; the Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon; the Foundation Galeries Lafayette, Paris; WIELS, Brussels; as well as in group exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; the Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection, Venice; and the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster.
He represented Kosovo at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. He received the Mario Merz Prize, and the special mention of the jury at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. In 2019, he participated in the group exhibitions “The Palace at 4am” at NEON, Mykonos, Greece; “Homeless Souls” at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark; and the 15th Lyon Biennale. In 2020 he participated in the Quadriennale di Roma.