Curated by Sara Fumagalli and Valentina Gervasoni
Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo presents the video trilogy When Dreams Become Necessity by Driant Zeneli (Shkoder, Albania, 1983).
When Dreams Become Necessity is made up of three short videos that document just as many performative actions carried out by the artist himself. In each case, Zeneli attempts to make a wish come true, three dreams that are to all effects impossible to achieve, leading us to understand that an inevitable failure is but the gateway for potential alternatives.
In the first video, The Dream of Icarus Was to Make a Cloud (2009), the artist tries to create a cloud by hang-gliding; in the second, Some Say the Moon Is Easy to Touch… (2011), he launches himself on a bungee cord in the attempt to touch the moon in the night in which the satellite is at its closest point to the Earth; in the last, Don’t Look at the Sun while You’re Expecting to Cross it (2014), Zeneli decides to cross the sun travelling in a cable car after the comet Lovejoy crossed the sun’s atmosphere, coming out intact.
In the three videos, the performative actions are quickly concluded, revealing the illusion behind them. Most of the images focus on the preparation phase, loading the time prior to the action with tension and expectation, and stressing the commitment and willpower necessary to carry out undertakings deemed impossible.
All the performative actions – leaping into the void, hang-gliding, launching oneself at breakneck speed while hanging onto a cable car – imply a certain degree of danger and courage. The very form of shooting, using a hand-held camera, contributes to creating an immersive dimension, giving the sensation of being physically present alongside the artist in the moment in which he sets about his actions.
These aspects underline once more the resoluteness and determination necessary to achieve utopian aims, but perhaps even more so, ones indispensable to accept the possibility of failure. Overall, the trilogy When Dreams Become Necessity itself constitutes a reflection on failure, meant not as an end but as an opportunity to imagine as of yet unexplored paths and to embrace the stimulus offered by new challenges.