"Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai!"
ocean space, venice
22 April 2023 - 5 November 2023

Simone Fattal’s installation “Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai!” (Free man, you’ll love the ocean endlessy!, after the poem “L’homme et la mer” by Charles Baudelaire) will inhabit the East wing of the Church of San Lorenzo, including two empty niches of its Baroque altar, with a group of monumental ceramic and glass sculptures created for the occasion. Among them, the figures of Máyya and her lover Ghaylán – a couple celebrated in classic Arab poetry, as well as in folktales and legends, differing from country to country. In the Persian Gulf, their story is that of two owners of a flotilla of vessels engaged in the pearl trade. Mayya’s fleet was more efficient, as her boats were quicker. Ghaylan pondered upon this; one day, after looking closely at a firefly, he had its wings imitated, so that his boats could be moved by the fast speed of winds. He had invented the sails. Will humans still be able to find solutions in the future by learning from nature? Fattal’s installation will also include a series of glass spheres, manufactured in Venice, inscribed with fragments of the vanished “lingua franca”, a mixed language borrowing terms from Italian, Arabic, French, and Spanish once spoken by merchants, pirates, and slaves across all Mediterranean shores.


to know more about the exhibition: Simone fattal, Sempre il mare, uomo libero, amerai!, Ocean Space, Venice