Building on his work with communities, Shezad Dawood explores common themes and challenges of our time.

British artist Shezad Dawood encourages the public to join in the conversation by making the first episode of Leviathan available to read online.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan’ Episode 2: Yasmine (production still), 2017, HD Video, 23'. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions. Commissioned by Cream - University of Westminster and Leviathan – Human & Marine Ecology. Yasmine: Houda Echouafni, Ben: Zed Josef.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan Episode 2: Yasmine’ (production still), 2017, HD Video, 23:00 min. Commissioned by Cream – University of Westminster and Leviathan – Human & Marine Ecology. Yasmine: Houda Echouafni, Ben: Zed Josef. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions.

Leviathan is set in a future where inhabitants are the survivors of a catastrophic solar event. The episodes are each told from the point of view of different characters who wander across Europe, Asia and North Africa. The film was shot in a number of locations including the Adriatic Sea, the Natural History Museum in London and an abandoned island in the Venetian lagoon.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan’ Episode 1: Ben (production still), 2017, HD Video 13’30”. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions. Commissioned by: University of Salford Art Collection, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Leviathan - Human and Marine Ecology, with support from The Contemporary Art Society. Ben: Zed Josef.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan Episode 1: Ben’ (production still), 2017, HD Video 13:30 min. Commissioned by: University of Salford Art Collection, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Leviathan – Human and Marine Ecology, with support from The Contemporary Art Society. Ben: Zed Josef. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan’ Episode 1: Ben (production still), 2017, HD Video 13:30 min. Commissioned by: University of Salford Art Collection, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Leviathan - Human and Marine Ecology, with support from The Contemporary Art Society. Ben: Zed Josef. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan Episode 1: Ben’ (production still), 2017, HD Video 13:30 min. Commissioned by: University of Salford Art Collection, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Leviathan – Human and Marine Ecology, with support from The Contemporary Art Society. Ben: Zed Josef. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions.

ArtAsiaPacific describes the films as part of their review of the Venice Biennale:

The first follows a character named Ben, and is, crudely put, a psychotic-seeming interior monologue paired with aquatic images of divers. The second part narrates the survival experience of a woman named Yasmine, whose defining personality trait is that she enjoys urinating in her jeans. She meets another survivor, a male, and views him as sexual prey; together, they visit a floating research platform where yet another survivor has taken refuge and has descended into madness.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan’ Episode 2: Yasmine (production still), 2017, HD Video, 23'. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions. Commissioned by Cream - University of Westminster and Leviathan – Human & Marine Ecology. Yasmine: Houda Echouafni, Ben: Zed Josef.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan Episode 2: Yasmine’ (production still), 2017, HD Video, 23:00 min. Commissioned by Cream – University of Westminster and Leviathan – Human & Marine Ecology. Yasmine: Houda Echouafni, Ben: Zed Josef. Image courtesy the artist and UBIK Productions.

Shezad Dawood, 'Where are we now?' Installation view 2017, resin and polychromatic paint, 140×100×80cm. Image courtesy the artist and Leviathan - Human & Marine Ecology. Photography Gianmaria De Luca.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Where are we now?’, 2017, resin and polychromatic paint, 140 x 100 x 80 cm. Photo: Gianmaria De Luca. Image courtesy the artist and Leviathan – Human & Marine Ecology.

The first episode of Leviathan is already available to read online, with more episodes to follow, including Episode Three in September 2017 in conjunction with the exhibition. In addition, during the exhibition there will be a public programme of agora-like debates that will be recorded online. The space is for scientists, researchers, students and the general public to exchange on ideas and challenges that the project raises.

Claire Wilson

1740

Related topics: international artists, art using film, light art, crossover art, events in Venice

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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