On occasion of the Mario Merz Prize Finalists Exhibition 2017, Petrit Halilaj is displaying a new series of sculptures from his ongoing project “ABETARE”. The works of the series “ABETARE” were presented for the first time on occasion of the artist’s solo exhibition at Kölnischer Kunstverein in April 2015, curated by Moritz Wesseler and Carla Donauer. The steel sculptures of this series are greatly enlarged objects, which have the shape of doodles, drawings and writings made by students on the school desks of the artist’s former primary school in the Kosovar village of Runik, where Halilaj was born. The school was demolished in favor of a new and more modern one in 2010.
The work of Halilaj is mainly determined by the history of his home country Kosovo and his personal biography. In these series of sculptures he recalls the experience of his childhood and youth, through great empathy themes such as home, memory and identity.