Driant Zeneli (1983, Shkoder, Albania), lives between Milan and Tirana.
In 2019 and 2011 he represented Albanian Pavilion at the 58th and 54th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale. In 2017 he won the MOROSO Prize and in 2009 the Young European Artist Award Trieste Contemporanea. In 2008 he won the Onufri International Contemporary Art Prize, Tirana. 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 in 2017. He is co-founder of Harabel Contemporary Art Platform, Tirana.
He has exhibited at: 39th EVA International Biennial, Limerick (2020); Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon (2020); National Gallery of Republic of Kosove, Prishtine (2019); Sharjah Art Foundation, Film Platform, (2019); Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga (2019); Autostrada Biennale, Prizren, Kosovo (2019); GAMEC, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bergamo, (2019); 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); IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Chile (2015); GAM, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Turin (2013); White House Biennial, Athens (2013); KCCC, Klaipeda, Lithuania (2013); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2012); MUSAC, Castilla León. Spain, (2012); Prague Biennale 5, Prague (2011); Prometeo Gallery, Milan (2010, 2015, 2018); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2009); National Gallery of Tirana, (2008).
How do we push the boundaries of our limitations without becoming superheroes? Can the realm of the possible be balanced with the one of the imaginary? At the core of Zeneli’s research is the redefinition of the idea of failure, utopia and dream as the elements that open possible alternatives. Starting from the story of his father in his film ‘When I grow up I want to be an Artist’ (2007) Zeneli combines a personal and a collective story, politics, historical time, while adding elements such as: irony, myth, the fake, utopia, dreams, betrayal, transformation. These elements are present in his more recent works, filmic or performative, as well as in his constant engagement with several educational institutions where he presents the history of ‘failed artists’, with the aim of including this research in the curriculum of art schools. Film is used by Zeneli to sculpt place and time. To play with architecture, history and the several stories that can be attached to them, is for his filmic works a constant necessity. Performance is used by Zeneli as a participative intervention, where the artist activates a meaning that is worked bottom-up with other spectators that become participants.