Simone Fattal, Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano
22 April 2023


5 November 2023

TBA21–Academy presents Thus waves come in pairs, an exhibition comprising two new commissions launching at Ocean Space in Venice for the 2023 exhibition program, curated by Barbara Casavecchia. The title is taken from the poem Sea and Fog by Etel Adnan, sees the encounter between the American-Lebanese Simone Fattal’s monumental ceramic and glass sculptures and the new installation by the duo Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano, co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary.Born in Damascus, Syria, Simone Fattal lived in California and now resides in Paris. She will present Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai!, adapted from Charles Baudelaire’s poem Man and Sea. The site-specific installation comprises a set of monumental sculptures in glass and ceramic. Among them, the figures of Máyya and her lover Ghaylán, a couple celebrated in classical Arab poetry: each owned a merchant fleet for their pearl business. Máyya’s was quicker, though. After long study, Ghaylán took inspiration from the wings of a dragonfly and made sails for his ships. Will humanity be able to let nature inspire new solutions for a better future?Petrit Halilaj and Álvaro Urbano are partners in life, although they mostly keep their art endeavours separate. Halilaj’s embraces different media to create complex worlds that house freedom, desire, intimacy, and identity, while Urbano uses different tools to explore the notions of space, architecture, and environment. Together, they draw from personal and collective stories to create new environments and explore and negotiate human v. natural spaces. Their installation explores an original hybrid ecosystem.

Conversations with Simone Fattal, Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano