Press Release

TBA21–cademy 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 exhibition will feature American-Lebanese, Paris-based artist Simone Fattal and Berlin-based artist duo Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano. The new installation by Halilaj & Urbano is co-commissioned together with Audemars Piguet Contemporary, whose curatorial team worked closely with Casavecchia and the artists.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

Thus waves come in pairs

Ocean Space, Venice (Italy)

22.04 - 05.11.2023




The title of the exhibition, Thus waves come in pairs, is a line from the poem Sea and Fog by Etel Adnan. It refers to the necessity of thinking with plurality and exchanges, which informed the third edition of TBA21–cademy’ three-year long curatorial fellowship program The Current, led by Barbara Casavecchia and focused on the Mediterraneans, which this exhibition and its public program concludes. In September 2021, The Current III surfaced in Venice, at Ocean Space, as a transdisciplinary exercise in sensing by supporting situated projects, collective pedagogies and voices along the Mediterranean basin across art, culture, science, conservation, and activism. It evolved in the generative format of walks, performances, podcasts, conversations, and field trips, and built platforms for collaborative thinking. The publication "Thus Waves Come in Pairs. Thinking with the Mediterraneans", forthcoming in April 2023 (Sternberg Press), is edited by Casavecchia and acts as a narrative companion to The Current III.

Thus waves come in pairs is an evolution of Barbara Casavecchia’ conception of this site-specific project, deepening the program’ engagement with artistic practices. The exhibition and its public program will bring to Venice the many streams of The Current III, unfolding from an ecology of collaborations, companionships, kinships, and sisterhoods; from multiple commonalities and forms of togetherness as counter narratives to aridity.

Simone Fattal’ installation Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai! (Free man, you’l love the ocean endlessly!, after the poem L’omme et la mer by Charles Baudelaire) will inhabit the East Wing of the Church of San Lorenzo, including two empty niches of its Baroque altar, with a group of monumental ceramic and glass sculptures created for the occasion. Among them, the figures of Máya and her lover Ghaylá— couple celebrated in classic Arab poetry, as well as in folktales and legends, differing from country to country. Fattal’ installation will also include a series of glass spheres, manufactured in Venice, inscribed with fragments of the vanished “ingua franca” a mixed language borrowing terms from Italian, Arabic, French, and Spanish once spoken by merchants, pirates, and slaves across all Mediterranean shores.

Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano are invited as a duo to develop a site-specific work premiering at Ocean Space, Venice. The installation, entitled Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas, echoes the Spanish children’ song “y mi pescadito” where young fish go to school at the bottom of the sea in order to study forms of resistance to humans. The artists will create an ecosystem that comprises a series of large-scale sculptures of hybrid aquatic and terrestrial creatures, which speaks to creating cohesion as well as exploring harmony (or the lack thereof) between different species, or between living organisms and objects. A cast of musicians and performers will activate the installation, at varying duration and intervals, throughout the exhibition period. The installation will occupy the West Wing of the historic San Lorenzo Church, reflecting on the unique architecture of the deconsecrated church as well as the city of Venice.

Thus waves come in pairs

Curated by Barbara Casavecchia. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy.

The work by Petrit Halilaj & Álvaro Urbano is co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary; developed by the artists working closely together with the curatorial team at Audemars Piguet Contemporary and curator Barbara Casavecchia.

Photo: Marco Cappelletti. Graphic design: bruno.

Exhibition 22 April -05 November 2023. Ocean Space, Campo S. Lorenzo 5069 - 30122 Venice (Italy).






Thus waves come in pairs, Ocean Space, Venice, Italy

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved