ICA-Sofia Gallery
34, Vasil Levski Blvd Sofia, Bulgaria, CO 1504

Driant Zeneli

How deep can a Dragonfly swim under the Ocean?

“How deep can a Dragonfly swim under the Ocean?”, the second chapter of the trilogy The Animals. Once Upon a time... in the present time. tells the story of a dragonfly that, despite being able to move its wings, is condemned to never fly, thus failing to get away from the ocean.

The dragonfly, a symbol of spiritual depth, power, change of perspective, and adaptation recalls the real experience of Rilond Risto, who spent 21 years of isolation in Albanian prisons, creating mechanical insects capable of flying from various circumstantial tools during his last period of imprisonment. The dragonfly moves inside the Pyramid of Tirana, a memorial monument to the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha built in the late 1980s. Since the 90s this building has experienced different moments of transformation while having different functions. It is currently being repurposed to become a new hub for Tirana.

Among the architecture of the brutalist monument, the dragonfly feeds on the fossil of an octopus in order to survive, but at the same Gme, it is held by it without the possibility to fly and get away from the Pyramid. The arGst uses this image as a metaphor for the perennial man’s attempt to detach himself from a context imposed by society.




Driant Zeneli (1983, Shkoder, Albania), lives in Turin. 

In 2019 and 2011 he represented Albanian Pavilion at the 58th (solo show) and 54th (group  show) InternaGonal Art ExhibiGon – Venice Biennale. In 2017 he won the MOROSO Prize and in  2009 the Young European ArGst Award Trieste Contemporanea. In 2008 he won the Onufri  InternaGonal Contemporary Art Prize, Tirana. He was the arGsGc director of Mediterranea 18,  the Young ArGsts Biennale from Europe and the Mediterranean, taking place for the first Gme in  2017 between Tirana and Durres in 2017. He is a co-founder of Harabel Contemporary Art  Pla[orm, Tirana. 

Main ExhibiGont: Maxxi Museum, Rome (2023); Manifesta Biennial 14, PrishGna (2022);  Teatrino Palazzo Grassi, Venice, (2021); 39th EVA InternaGonal Biennial, Limerick (2020); Israeli  Center for Digital Art, Holon (2020); Albanian Pavilion 58th Venice Biennale (2019); NaGonal  Gallery of Republic of Kosove, PrishGne (2019); Sharjah Art FoundaGon, Film Pla[orm, (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, CasGlla León. Spain, (2012); Prague Biennale 5, Prague (2011); Museo d’Arte  Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2009); NaGonal Gallery of Tirana, (2008). 

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134, Vasil Levski Blvd. (entrance from Ekzarh Yosif St.), 1504, Sofia , Bulgaria
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