Leviathan: Memories of the Future Pt.2

#6 SHEZAD DAWOOD

Leviathan: Memories of the Future Pt.2

3 November – 22 December 2018

Dawood’s exhibition presented a (televisual) series of storyboards, masquerading as large-scale landscape paintings. In addition we featured the latest episode of the artist’s multi-year, multi-part series Leviathan, co-commissioned by the gallery.

Leviathan Cycle, Episode 4: Jamila reverses the usual path of migration (from North Africa to Italy) to question ideas of migration historically always being one way, and to question how crossings between Italy and North Africa are also deeply impacted by climate change affecting the marine environment both above and below the sea.

A series of dreams or hallucinations take the place of the Netflix image and narrative feed, by substituting the moving image for the still (if unstable) image of a volatile future. If the works in the exhibition act as a mirror to places and narratives so far unexplored, it’s because they represent the landscapes of as yet uncharted narrative arcs in Shezad Dawood’s imagination. These still images, or fragments of narrative, are punctuated by text from existing and forthcoming chapters of Dawood’s stream-of-consciousness monologues that score the various episodes of Leviathan. Playing with the function of the serialisation of narrative, the installation at HE.RO allows the viewer to insert themselves in this logic of the ebb and flow between narrative and iconic image; the space between the world as it is and as it may be.

Step in, the water’s warm.

Shezad Dawood (UK, 1974) trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is a Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He lives and works in London.

Shezad Dawood works across disciplines film, painting, neon, sculpture and more recently virtual reality to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. Using the editing process as a method to explore both meanings and forms, his practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across geographic borders and communities. Through a fascination with the esoteric, otherness and science-fiction, Dawood interweaves histories, realities and symbolism to create richly layered artworks.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Leviathan, Mostyn, Wales (2018); Leviathan, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London; Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (all 2014), Modern Art Oxford (2012). And group exhibitions include: the Gwangju Biennial (2018); Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2018); The Drawing Room, London (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Taipei Biennial (2014), Marrakech Biennial (2014), MACBA Barcelona (2014), Witte de With (2013), Busan Biennale (2010), Tate Britain, Altermodern (2009), and the Venice Biennale (2009). Shezad Dawood’s work is in major public and private collections including Tate, London; LACMA, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The British Museum, London; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi; Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; UBS Collection; US Government Art Collection; Government Art Collection, UK; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Art Jameel, Dubai; Devi Art Foundation, Delhi; EKARD Collection.