press release

Driant Zeneli. In an Attempt to Get Up
19.12.2019 - 31.01.2020

Artist talk: January 25, 5–7pm
Kino Armata

The National Gallery of Kosovo presents In an attempt to get up, the major museum solo exhibition of Driant Zeneli, an Albanian artist (1983, Shkodër).

Through film, video installations and performance, Driant Zeneli's work investigates the notions of attempt, failure, dream and utopia as elements that engender alternative perspectives.

The exhibition operates from Zeneli’s profound attraction to illusion: a sense of magic inherited from childhood and esthetic parameter, as well as a critical tool to embrace the complexity unfolded by the way reality and fiction meet. Starting from the "trompe l'œil" effect connecting Zeneli—the post-communist conceptual filmmaker- to his father—the communist portraitist- but also Albania and Kosovo, flying and falling, Zeneli works at dismantling the illusion effects to engage with the gap left between the imaginary and the real.

Entitled No wise fish would escape without flying, 2019, Zeneli's new film proceeds with contradiction. As usual, Zeneli starts from a supposedly fictional representation of the fish—the flying fish—and unpacks the multiple possibilities embedded in such chiasma effect. The film has been realized in collaboration with children from Bonevet, a non-profit organization from Prishtina whose activities primarily deal with technological experimentation, electronics, robotics... The National Library, the most iconic symbol of Kosovo, acts as the background of the plot. A myth as well as a technological experiment, Zeneli's project, therefore, interrogates our relationship to intuitive knowledge and both transgenerational and transhistorical collaborative learning processes

As in many other works, Zeneli claims for a collective approach. Challenging the position of the artist as self-reliant, he reveals how encounters become the necessary means to challenge and change our perceptions, limits and desires, in order to keep producing both handmade and technological, past and present stories.

Driant Zeneli (1983, Shkodër, Albania), lives between Milan and Tirana.

In 2019 he represented the Albanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. In 2017 he won the MOROSO Prize and in 2009 the Young European Artist Award Trieste Contemporanea. He is the co-founder of Harabel Contemporary Art Platform, Tirana.

His works have been exhibited at: the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); GAMEC, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bergamo (2019); Passerelle, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brest (2018); Mostyn Gallery, Wales (2017); MuCEM, Marseille (2016); Academie de France à Roma (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Chile (2015); GAM, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Turin (2013); KCCC, Klaipeda, Lithuania (2013); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2012); MUSAC, Castilla León (2012); Prague Biennale 5, Prague (2011).

Driant Zeneli's In an attempt to get up is co-curated by Claudia Buizza, an independent curator based in Paris and Alicia Knock, a curator at Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Main supporter: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport - Kosovo

Supported by: National Library of Kosovo / BONEVET - Pristina / Kino Armata

Sponsor: “Unë e Du Kosovën” Foundation, Pristina / Embassy of Italy, Prishtina / Italian Institute of Culture, Tirana / Embassy of France, Prishtina / prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan / Seven Gravity Collection, Italy