MAYBE THE COSMOS IS NOT SO EXTRAORDINARY
A sculptural video installation By Driant Zeneli
2019, Produced By : Anima Pictures
Maybe the cosmos is not so extraordinary (2019), is a sculptural video installation which expands upon a multidisciplinary project entitled Beneath a surface there is just another surface started in 2015 at Metallurgjik, a dystopian industrial complex, in the city of Elbasan, Albania.
The project and its title derive from the pioneering science-fiction novel On the way to Epsilon Eridani (1983) by Albanian physicist and writer Arion Hysenbegas.
The installation develops from a two-channel film set in the mines of Bulqize, a city in the North-East of the country, where, since 1918, the chrome mineral has been extracted.
Chrome represents a key resource for the industrial development of Albania and collides with economic and political conflicts in the Global South.
The film stages a group of teenagers from Bulqize discovering a cosmic capsule which follows the journey of chrome, from its extraction and processing within the factory to its exportation and worldwide exploitation.
This “geopolitical” space travel therefore turns this shady and dramatic industrial environment into an ambivalent space for collapse and takeoff.
A drone escorts the characters throughout the space travel, whereas the crossed echo of the voices of Bujar and Flora, the two protagonists of the previous chapter of the trilogy, resonate from above.
Quoting Hysenbegas’ scientific and literary tale, they breathe a parallel rhythm into the filmic narrative.
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.