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; the New Museum, NYC; the Fondazione Merz, Turin; the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the HangarBicocca, 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 15th Lyon Biennale; the Louisiana Museum in Denmark; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; the Palazzo Grassi - Pinault Collection, Venice; NEON, Mykonos, Greece; 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 2021, Tate St Ives presented his solo exhibition Very volcanic over this green feather. In 2022 he took part in Manifesta 14 in Pristina, Kosovo with a large-scale public art work that is now on permanent display in the city. In 2023 together with Alvaro Urbano Petrit Halilaj presented the installation Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas at The Ocean Space in Venice, as well as a selection of Very volcanic over this green feather in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, with the exhibition Petrit Halilaj (Unfinished Histories). In November 2023, the exhibition Petrit Halilaj: Runik will open at Tamayo Museum, Mexico. In December 2023, he will take part in the NGV Triennial in Melbourne, Australia.