Driant Zeneli represents Albanian at Venice Biennale

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 22, 2019 14:00

Driant Zeneli represents Albanian at Venice Biennale

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  • Curator Alicia Knock said that Zeneli's work shows how dreams can become a reality. She said that Driant's work speaks of a specific reality of Albania, of Bulqiza, of chrome, which travels from the heart of the mountain to the cosmos, describing a geopolitical, economic, and industrial journey in Zeneli's work.

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TIRANA, May 14- Under the presence of Albanian and foreign artists and under the attention of international media, the Albanian pavilion was opened at the Venice Biennale on Friday. In this 58th edition, Albania was represented by artist Driant Zeneli with his video installation “Maybe the Cosmos is not so extraordinary,” curated by Alicia Knock.

The ceremony was opened by Minister of Culture Elva Margariti, who said that Albania is presented in this artistic cosmos with a work that is born in Bulqiza and exceeds the local boundaries to convey a much more universal message. She thanked all those who were present and in support of the beauty that Albanian art creates and represents in a parade of world art. She expressed her gratitude for the representation by Driant, a young, energetic talent with a longstanding and dedication to his art, which according to Margariti is representing us well in this event, as noticed by the many foreign media writings.

“We join this biennial with a fracture of dimensions, bringing small stories from small towns and turning them to contemporary art and in the dimension of beauty. We are aware that his art also brings a controversy over which I would like to invite reflection and discussion,” said Margariti.

Curator Alicia Knock said that Zeneli’s work shows how dreams can become a reality. She said that Driant’s work speaks of a specific reality of Albania, of Bulqiza, of chrome, which travels from the heart of the mountain to the cosmos, describing a geopolitical, economic, and industrial journey in Zeneli’s work.

“This cosmos is not only built by me, but many people have worked for one year to accomplish this work, starting with the five heroes who are the protagonists in the piece. My work is dedicated to all those who believe in dreams and seek to push their limits every day,” said artist Driant Zeneli.

The opening ceremony was attended by artists Anri Sala, Adrian Paci, Edi Muka, Alban Muja, Anila Rubiku and others. Curator Edi Muka praised the metaphor used by Zeneli to connect the overground with the subterranean. Artist Anri Sala focused on how Zeneli selected the topic with the general theme of the biennial, with the concerns and problems that this edition deals with, as well as trying to find other alternatives. Artist Adrian Paci calls the concept of Driant Zeneli’s work a finding, linking reality with fantasy, the underworld of Albania with the cosmos. Kosovo’s representative at the Venice Biennale, Alban Muja, praised not only the concept of the work, but also the installation of the pavilion. “You Live In Interesting Times” is the title of the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale and refers to an ancient Chinese curse that evokes times of uncertainty, crises and chaos. The interesting times as we are living. This edition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, under the chairmanship of Paolo Baratta. According to Rugoff, “maybe art, indirectly, can turn into a guide to how we can live and think.” In this edition located at the “Giardini e Arsenale”  90 countries participated, while 21 collateral events take place around Venice.

Driant Zeneli was born in Shkoder in 1983, and lives between Milan and Tirana. In 2011 he was one of the artists who represented Albania at the 54th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale. In 2008 he won the Onufri International Contemporary Art Prize, Tirana; the Young European Artist Award Trieste Contemporanea in 2009, and the MOROSO Prize, Italy, in 2017. He was the artistic director of Mediterranea 18, the Young Artists Biennale from Europe and Mediterranean, taking place for the first time in 2017 between Tirana and Durres. He has exhibited at Passerelle, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brest, (2018); Mostyn Gallery, Wales, UK (2017); MuCEM, Marseille, (2016); Academie de France à Roma, (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); MSFAU Tophane-i Aime, Istanbul, (2016); Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan (2015; 2010); IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Chile (2015); Viafarini, Milan (2014); GAM, Museum of Modern and Contemporaryart Turin (2013); White House Biennial, Athens (2013); KCCC, Klaipeda, Lithuania (2013); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2012); MUSAC, Castilla León. Spain,(2012); TICA, Tirana (2012); Prague Biennale 5, Prague (2011); 98 weeks Project Space, Beirut (2011); Trongate 103, Glasgow (2011); National Gallery of Kosove, Prishtine (2010); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2009); National Gallery of Tirana, (2008).

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Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 22, 2019 14:00