Petrit Halilaj Wins the Second Edition of Mario Merz Prize

Words by Elena Scarpa
July 6, 2017

Petrit Halilaj won the second edition of Mario Merz Prize; other finalists included Francesco Arena, Gili Lavy, Shahryar Nashat and Suha Traboulsi.

The jury motivated the choice with the statement:

“The singular course of Petrit Halilaj’s life, marked by the memory of very serious events and the no less powerful and pervasive importance of affections, enables the artist to tackle the narration of history and stories with a great sensitivity, accompanied by a subtle and pervasive sense of irony. The capacity of the young artist to make places, situations and languages permeable on the basis of their own experience succeeds in the intent that closely accords with the aims of the Prize, to go beyond borders and break down cultural, physical and mnemonic walls, allowing the visitor to reconstitute the threads of erased memories and forgotten conflicts often consigned to oblivion by a false sense of domestic security. The possibility assured by the prize of realising a new project will enable a fresh global and synthetic vision of Halilaj’s work and thus a new phase of investigation and criticism of the contemporary scene, starting from the presence and role of artists as central figures in new wave of social, historical and cultural development”


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