The work For the Birds by Alvaro Urbano and Petrit Halilaj was first conceived during the artist residency program at Villa Romana, Florence in 2013. Stemming from the artists’ personal background of sharing their lives with two canary birds who were able to freely move in their shared living-studio space in Berlin, it morphed into a construction that would enable these birds to again move freely between the living and studio the artists temporarily inhabited for a few months in Florence. With the help of friends, a large tunnel-like structure was installed on the Villa Romana compounds, which connected one part of the building to another, on the way spanning the large garden.
In 2015, the artists recreated the tunnel for the birds and adapted it to the space of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany. Here, the birds were hosted in an aviary on the balcony of the institution’s library, where again they had access to the tunnel spanning across different parts of the building.
The work adapts in its form to the space where it is rebuild. The tunnel should provide the birds with a possibility to move freely around the architecture that is actually also setting boundaries to it.
Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano ‘Where you Were Hiding’, 2015. A selection of personal pictures of the canaries taken at home hidden inside various books at the public library of the Bundeskunsthalle.