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For All the Fish in the Sea

Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land. Book Launch and Joan Jonas in conversation with Angela Vettese


Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

Reservation is required at this link.


The conversation will be held in English.

Please join us at Ocean Space for an evening with artist Joan Jonas and art critic and scholar Angela Vettese. Their conversation will revisit Jonas’s iconic performance and exhibition "Moving Off the Land" on the occasion of the launch of the eponymous book, co-published by TBA21–Academy and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.

Ocean Space will have special extended opening hours from 6pm. Before the event until 7pm, our team of cultural mediators will be available to visitors to offer insights and information regarding our current exhibitions and the history of the Church of San Lorenzo itself.

The conversation will be held in English. Participation is free with mandatory registration at this link (limited places available)*. During the event it will be possible to purchase the publication 'Joan Jonas Moving Off the Land' (€25).

*Booking gives priority access to the event until 20 minutes before the start (6:40 pm). Beyond this time, access and seating is no longer guaranteed.

PHOTO: Joan Jonas performing Moving Off the Land, Ocean Space, Venice, 2019. Ph: Moira Ricci.


  • 6:00-8:30 PM, Ocean Space, San Lorenzo Church

Special opening hours for the exhibitions “The Soul Expanding Ocean # 3: Dineo Seshee Bopape” and “The Soul Expanding Ocean # 4: Diana Policarpo. Ciguatera”.

  • 7:00-7:10 PM, Cloiser of San Lorenzo

Markus Reymann Introduction.

  • 7:10-8:30 PM, Cloiser of San Lorenzo

Conversation between the artist Joan Jonas and the art critic Angela Vettese.

BOOK: "Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land"

Edited by Ute Meta Bauer. Commissioned by TBA21–Academy, with a conversation between Joan Jonas, Ute Meta Bauer and Stefanie Hessler. Forewords by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and Markus Reymann.

This new publication closely follows the development of "Moving Off the Land", from its first iteration as a lecture-demonstration at Vasco da Gama Square in Kochi, India, in 2016, to the exhibition and performance that inaugurated Ocean Space in Venice, in 2019. Grounded in three years of research into the significance of the ocean as a totemic spiritual and cultural reference throughout history, Jonas conjured an aquatic universe of mythological and real figures, where stories of sheer beauty and ecological urgency emerge. The complete script for the performance, along with the artist’s annotations of it, form the core of the book, accompanied by mesmerizing images of Jonas’s live performance.

Edited by Ute Meta Bauer, this lavishly illustrated 272-page publication includes a rich selection of research materials that Jonas collected over many years, and an extensive conversation between Jonas, Bauer, and curator Stefanie Hessler that unpacks the genesis of the project and how the artist explores environmental concerns while highlighting the intelligence, marvel, and beauty of the nonhuman creatures that cohabit our world. The introductions by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and by Markus Reymann embed the project in the research practice of TBA21 and TBA21–Academy.


Joan Jonas is a world-renowned artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media including video, performance, installation, sound, text, and sculpture. Jonas’s experiments and productions in the late 1960s and early ’70s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theater. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of rituals, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas has exhibited, screened, and performed her work at museums, galleries, and in large-scale group exhibitions throughout the world. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at HangarBicocca, Milan; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; the United States Pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London; TBA21 Ocean Space, Venice; and the Serralves Museum in Porto. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize, presented to those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. A show of her large-scale works opened at Dia Beacon in 2021 and will be on view through 2023. Her survey show at Haus der Kunst, Munich, opens in September 2022. Jonas is currently working on a retrospective set to open at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2024.

Markus Reymann

Markus Reymann is director of TBA21–Academy, which he co-founded in 2011. TBA21–Academy is a contemporary art organization fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange surrounding the most urgent ecological, social, and economic issues facing our oceans today. Reymann leads the nonprofit’s program, engaging with artists, activists, scientists, and policy-makers worldwide, resulting in the creation of commissions, new bodies of knowledge, and policies advancing marine conservation. In March 2019, TBA21–Academy launched Ocean Space, a global port for ocean literacy, research, and advocacy, in the restored Church of San Lorenzo in Venice, Italy. Reymann is also chair of Alligator Head Foundation, the scientific partner of TBA21–Academy, dedicated to the maintenance of the East Portland Fish Sanctuary and of a marine wet laboratory in Jamaica.

Angela Vettese

Angela Vettese is an art critic, curator, and the director of the graduate programme in visual arts of the università Iuav di Venezia, where she teaches theory and criticism of contemporary art as an associate professor. She has taught at numerous fine arts academies, at the Bocconi University in Milan (2000-2007) and since 1986 she has written for the Sole 24 Ore Domenica magazine. Vettese has been president of the fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, City of Venice (2002-2013) and director of the Galleria Civica in Modena (2005-2009). In 2009 she was president of the international jury of the Biennale of visual arts in Venice. From 1995 to 2003 she was the curator of the Antonio Ratti Foundation Course. From 1993 to 1996 she was co-curator of the Premio Furla-Querini Stampalia. Angela is a co-founder of the Festival of Contemporary art in Faenza (since 2007-2011). She is part of the scientific committee of the Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana in Venice. She is currently deputy mayor for culture and tourism in Venice. She has published essays in catalogues for institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kunsmuseum of Basel, and has written several books in Italian and Spanish.