Thus waves come in pairs
Curated by Barbara Casavecchia
TBA21 Ocean Space, Venice
21 April – 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 exhibition Thus waves come in pairs, the title of which 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.
The exhibition project is a site specific evolution of The Current III, three-year cycle led by Barbara Casavecchia, surfaced in Venice as a transdisciplinary exercise. This pioneering initiative – aimed at supporting situated projects, collective pedagogies and voices along the Mediterranean basin across art, culture, science, conservation, and activism – has evolved in the generative format of walks, performances, podcasts, conversations, and field trips, and built platforms for collaborative thinking.

Focused on to the rapidly changing climate around the Mediterranean basin, occurring at a pace 20-percent faster than anywhere else on the planet – with the expansion of drought areas, the disruption of the water cycles and proliferation of heat waves – The Current III calls for reorienting, and registering “the limits of our own apparatuses of knowledge”, as Iain Chambers and Marta Cariello write in their essay “The Mediterranean Question: Thinking with the Diver”.

In 2021, Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal recorded for The Current III an intimate conversation at their Parisian home (that will appear in an upcoming publication by TBA21–Academy and Sternberg Press): “There are many Mediterraneans: the geographical, the historical, the philosophical… the personal, the one we swim, and we have swum in. It’s an experience to swim, it is something you can’t explain to somebody who never swam. This feeling of being held up by this water.” This too needs to be constantly unlearned and relearned: how to hold up each other.

Photos by Gerdastudio