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Photo: Nicolò Miana


Artist Talks. Conversations with Simone Fattal, Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano



Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

The event is free and open to all, registration is not necessary.

Please join us at Ocean Space for two conversations with artists Simone Fattal and Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano. Introduced by the curator Barbara Casavecchia, the talks will focus on their practices and the respective installations created for the exhibition “Thus waves come in pairs.”

The exhibition, the title of which is inspired by a poem by Etel Adnan, reminds us that we need to think and rethink in plural ways and practice forms of togetherness. Waves carry and transmit energy. They bring a movement that shatters binary separations such as land and water, wet and dry, human and non-human. They reshuffle and dissolve the fixity of boundaries and paradigms.

With their works, Simone Fattal and Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano tell stories that lead us to imagine pasts and futures in which our understanding of the world is transformed by encounters with the Other. They invite us to listen to the multiplicity of intelligences, languages, histories, and narratives.


11am | Artist talk and book launch with Simone Fattal and poet and curator Omar Berrada, introduced by Markus Reymann and Barbara Casavecchia.

The talk celebrates the launch of the anthology Thus Waves Come in Pairs. Thinking with the Mediterraneans (TBA21–Academy and Sternberg Press, 2023). Taking a conversation on the Mediterraneans between Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal from 2021 as its point of departure, the book collects interdisciplinary reflections around and about the Mediterraneans through art, poetry, oceanic thinking, and activism. Edited by Casavecchia, it includes contributions by Jumana Emil Abboud, Omar Berrada, Pietro Consolandi, Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu, Pietro Consolandi, Zeyn Joukhadar, Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano, Ibrahim Nehme, and Giovanna Silva. The book is a companion to The Current III (2021–23), TBA21–Academy’s curatorial fellowship program focused on the Mediterraneans conceived as a plural space - plural as their interconnected cultures, shifting climates, bodies of sweet and salty water, and current transformations.

12pm | Conversation between Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano, Barbara Casavecchia, and Audrey Teichmann, curator of Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

Waves of Words

Part of the cycle “Waves of Words”, encompassing conversations with artists, researchers, and writers interweaving poetry, science, and situated ecology in collaboration with local institutions and national initiatives. Spoken words will become waves to drift with and carry our thoughts, while we consider climate and cultural change with diverse voices from the Mediterranean shores.

Simone Fattal

Simone Fattal was born in Damascus, Syria, and raised in Lebanon, where she studied philosophy at the "Ecole des Lettres" in Beirut. She then moved to Paris, where she continued her philosophical pursuits at the Sorbonne. In 1969 she returned to Beirut and began working as a visual artist, exhibiting her paintings until the start of the Lebanese Civil War. She left Lebanon in 1980 and settled in California, where she founded the Post-Apollo Press, a publishing house dedicated to innovative and experimental literary work. In 1988 she enrolled at the Art Institute of San Francisco, which prompted a return to her artistic practice and a newfound dedication to sculpture and ceramics. Fattal currently lives in Paris.


Omar Berrada is a writer and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He is the author of the poetry collection Clonal Hum (2020), and the editor or co-editor of several books, including Album: Cinémathèque de Tangier, about film in Tangier and Tangier on film (2012); The Africans, on racial dynamics in North Africa (2016); and La Septième Porte, a posthumously published history of Moroccan cinema by Ahmed Bouanani (2020). Berrada’s writing was included in numerous exhibition catalogs, magazines and anthologies, including Frieze, Bidoun, Asymptote, The University of California Book of North African Literature, and Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry. Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union where he and Leslie Hewitt co-organize the IDS Lecture Series.

Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano

Petrit Halilaj (b. Kosovo) and Álvaro Urbano (b. Spain) are two visual artists based in Berlin. Mostly working individually, their common practice combines specific aspects of each artist’s interests and complements each other’s research. Their joint production reflects on the dichotomy between built environments and nature, and on the possibilities of negotiation between these two realities: in that regard, the inhabitants that occupy these liminal spaces suscitate a particular interest for the two artists. Halilaj and Urbano jointly attended the artist residencies at MAK Residency, Los Angeles (2016-2017) and at Villa Romana, Florence (2014).

Barbara Casavecchia

Barbara Casavecchia is a writer, independent curator, and educator based in Venice and Milan, where she teaches at the Department of Visual Cultures and Curatorial Practices of the Brera Academy since 2011. She currently teaches also in the Art & Ecology master at NABA, Milan. Contributing editor of Frieze magazine, her articles and essays have been published in art-agenda, ArtReview, La Repubblica, Flash Art, Mousse, Nero, South, and Spike, amongst others, as well as in several artist books and catalogs. In 2018, she curated the solo exhibition "Susan Hiller, Social Facts" at OGR, Turin. In 2020, she acted as Mentor of the Ocean Fellowship Program offered by TBA21–Academy at Ocean Space in Venice.In 2021–2023, Barbara is leading the third cycle of TBA21-Academy flagship program "The Current".

"Thus waves as in pairs" is commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy.

Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano’s installation is co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

Audemars Piguet Contemporary commissions international artists to create contemporary artworks, fostering a global community of creators. The brand believes in the power of contemporary art to connect and be connected. The team accompanies each commission process from inception to development to exhibition and builds experiences for audiences to engage with the work around the world. As with mechanical watches, commissioned artworks are about more than what you see. These works are sensitive to our ever-changing world. They are an opportunity for new creation, bringing together audiences and leading to conversations that go beyond first impressions.