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The video trilogy by Driant Zeneli

Video Sound Art announces the presentation of the new film by artist Driant Zeneli on the occasion of Manifesta 14 Prishtina Biennale, from 22 July to 30 October in Prishtina (Kosovo).
Commissioned by the Dutch biennial and produced by the In Between Art Film Foundation, The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing is the latest chapter in the trilogy initiated in 2019 and features Video Sound Art as executive producer.

The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing continues the exploration of brutalist architecture in the Balkans with one of the most famous post-war examples, the Post Office of Scopje, in Macedonia. The concrete structure, modelled in the shape of a lotus flower and completed in 1974, became the symbol of the reconstruction of the city after the earthquake of 1963.
The film is inspired by the fairy tale of the firefly and the snake in which the snake, struck by the brightness of the firefly, tries at all costs to eat it, and reacts to that feeling of powerlessness in front of its bright glow.
Driant Zeneli in a perspective of rebirth and reconstruction identifies the two robotic animals as protagonists, this time built in collaboration with the University of Engineering in Scopje.

The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing (2022)
Commissioned by Manifesta 14 Prishtina Biennale
Produced by In Between Art Film Foundation
Executive production by Video Sound Art

Driant Zeneli, The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing, 4K, 2022. Fondazione In Between Art Film

The trilogy

The Animals. Once Upon a Time… in the Present Time is the third trilogy created by artist Driant Zeneli featuring robotic animals.
The narrative structure follows the model of the contemporary fairy tale through which the artist focuses on human feelings such as fear, failure, isolation and envy. The chapters are developed in three distinct architectural spaces of Brutalist origin, located in the three capitals of the Balkan Peninsula: The National Library in Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo, The Pyramid in Tirana, Albania and the Post Office in Scopje, North Macedonia.

No wise fish would escape without flying
2019, HD Video, color, sound, 07’10”

How deep can a Dragonfly swim under the Ocean?
2021, 4K film, color, sound,12’23’’

The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing
2022, color, sound, 11′ 46”

Driant Zeneli’s interview on the occasion of Gestus exhibition at the Teatrino of Palazzo Grassi, 2021.

The filmic fables of Zeneli arise from random encounters and the possible solution to questions, seemingly without answer, reappears in the process of  collective  creation that runs throughout the trilogy. What matters is the encounter. The local television is broadcasting the story of a man who claims to have unjustly spent 21 years in prison. Driant decides to contact Rilond Risto via social media. During the last years of isolation he has been fortuitously making small mechanical flying insects: the dream comes true as Zeneli sees the small mechanised dragonfly made by Risto. Power dynamics and history are intertwined with individual narratives, creating utopias which subvert the natural order of things in the perpetual attempt to detach themselves from a context imposed by society.
Excerpt of There where humans can’t go by Laura Lamonea

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Driant Zeneli, How deep can a Dragonfly swim under the Ocean?, 4K video, 8’20’’, 2021, Courtesy dell’artista

To tell stories by staging and mixing fictional and real elements results in a kind of performativity trespassing the field of representation. Driant Zeneli’s films are experiences which transform our way of looking at the places and the territories they’re embodying. They explore the theatricality of the real spaces and produce a scenic dimension inside of the exhibition, intimately connecting bodies and imaginaries. Intimate and personal sources mingle with theatrical devices to deconstruct and modify certain realities. He set them in a narrative framework, replenishing humans of their fragility, re-affirming their quest for freedom and their most utopical desires. Real space is used as a set, but not only places and their ability to present themselves as scenarios are part of the narration: there are also the memories inhabiting them and the emotions projected in them.

Excerpt from S’envoler les pieds sur terre, a text commissioned by Video Sound Art from lecturer and art critic Mathilde Roman, on the occasion of the presentation of the second chapter of the trilogy for the Gestus exhibition, Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi (2021).

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Driant Zeneli, No Wise Fish Would Escape Without flying, HD Video, 07’10”, 2019, Courtesy dell’artista

The Animals. Once upon a time…in the present time (2019 – 2022)
Driant Zeneli

No wise fish would escape without flying (2019)
How deep can a dragonfly swim under the ocean? (2021)
The firefly keeps falling and the snake keeps growing (2022)

it matters what worlds world worlds. how to tell stories otherwise
Manifesta 14 Prishtina Biennial
Curated by Catherine Nichols
22 July- 30 October 2022

Grand Hotel Prishtina, 9th floor
Prishtina (Kosovo)