On occasion of the Mario Merz Prize Finalists Exhibition 2017, Petrit Halilaj displayed a new series of sculptures from his ongoing project Abetare.
Abetare is comprised of enlarged steel versions of engravings made by generations of Kosovarian elementary schoolchildren on their classroom desks. The desks were taken from Primary School “Shotë Galica”, where Halilaj himself studied. The school was demolished in favor of a new and more modern one in 2010.
The work of Halilaj mainly derives from the history of his home country Kosovo and his personal biography. In Abetare, the artist recalls the experience of his childhood and youth, through universal themes such as home, memory and identity. Abetare was displayed for the first time on the occasion of Halilaj’s solo exhibition at Kölnischer Kunstverein in April 2015.