Video, 2007, 21’55”, color, sound.
The Artist asks his father to portray himself as a leader of Albanian Communism Enver Hoxha. For twenty years the artist’s father has been worked as a painter of the Albanian regime.
“In “When I grow up I want to be an artist” the artist’s father recalls his past as a portrait painter for the Communist leader of Albania Enver Hoxha. Against the backdrop of the recent history of Albania, the protagonist evokes the relationship between father and son that at times overshadows the one between master and disciple. The status of representation as truth is also thrown into question; art as an ideal is compared to making art as a means of survival. Throughout the video the man paints a portrait of somebody that resembles Hoxha the dictator, but in the end he signs the painting with somebody else’s signature. He tells us about the betrayal of history and how one is forced to be somebody other than what desired. Thus, through this paradoxical betrayal of history, Zeneli’s video delves into the matter of art throwing into discussion its system and its values.”