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Perspectives Art Explained

Artist Interview—Petrit Halilaj: The Roof Garden Commission, Abetare

May 7 10 MINUTES
Go behind the scenes with artist Petrit Halilaj, who discusses with curator Iria Candela the inspiration and making of his 2024 Roof Garden Commission: Abetare.

Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj (born 1986, Kostërc, former Yugoslavia) has transformed The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden with a sprawling sculptural installation, the artist's first major project in the United States.

Halilaj's work is deeply connected to the recent history of his native country, Kosovo, and the consequences of cultural and political tensions in the region. After a formative period in Italy, where he studied art at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, he moved to Berlin in 2008, where he still lives and works. Abetare reflects the artist’s personal experience as a refugee of war and the universal hopes and fears captured in children’s drawings.

Learn more about the exhibition:

Production Credits:

Interviewer: Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art
Director and Managing Producer: Kate Farrell
Editor: Lucas Groth
Producer: Melissa Bell
Cinematography: Jeffrey Johnson
2nd Camera/AC: Jon Jenkins
Sound: Matthew Modula
Jib Camera: Kelly Richardson
Berlin Footage: Oscar Michal
Production Coordinator: Lela Jenkins
Production Assistants: Tess Solot-Kehl, Brian Berman
Music: Austin Fisher
Timelapse Photography: Wilson Santiago, Heather Johnson
Exhibition Project manager: Zoe Tippl
Buildings Manager: Taylor Miller
81st Studio: Kate Swanson

Special thanks to: Petrit Halilaj and Iria Candela;
Studio Petrit Halilaj: Serena Rota (studio manager), Ferdinand Pechmann (production manager), Hugo Larquè (workshop manager), Vanina Saracino (research and editorial advisor), Rosario Moran and Christina Stathakopoulou (visualizations, 3D models), Veronica Paredes (accounting), Mirjam Khera (studio assistant), Martina Pelacchi (production); collaborators: Christina Werner (research advisor), Juan Echavarria, Mattia Bertolo, Toni Flügel, Anka Mirkin, Max Negrelli, Samuel von Düffel, Hagar Ophir, Nathan Stone, Joe Highton, and Fritz Rahne; Bernd Euler, Senta Hoppe, and the team at Euler GmbH, and Skulpturengießerei Knaak (artwork production); and Will Laufs and Kirill Kiselev (engineering); Abetare research in the Balkans: Amy Zion (research advisor), Leutrim Fishekqiu, Vatra Abrashi, Adrian Berisha, Arjon Kajtazi, Rrahim Dervishi, Hava Dako, Nikola Uzunovski, Olsi Lelaj, Amar Agić, Armin Ličina, Lushi Ismailaj, Valmira Morina, Lea Vene, Adela Železnik, Dzeni Rostohar, Zdenka Badovinac, Natalija Veselič Martinjak, Shaha Hyseni, Sofija Balać, Dzeni Rostohar, and Matej Jurčevoć.

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