Shezad Dawood

United Kingdom

Shezad Dawood works across film, painting and sculpture to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. Using the editing process as a method to explore meanings and forms between film and painting, his practice often involves collaborations that involve working with groups and individuals across different disciplines. These networks map across geographic borders and communities, and are particularly concerned with acts of translation and performance.

It was a time that was a time

Single channel, Super 8 and SD transferred to HD, 16’ 27”, with sound

It was a time that was a time explores speculative futures and questions traditional notions of history and ritual, image and icon, time and space. The film is the result of a freeform, collaborative filmmaking experiment whereby participants took turns documenting each other living in a speculative community formed in response to a theoretical environmental cataclysm with devices that might have survived a devastating flood. Operating on the borders between speculative realism and performance, the piece features Brooklyn-based artists, costume designers and choreographers, as well as youth participating in Red Hook Initiative—a nonprofit that organises empowerment programs for the neighborhood. The film also features an experimental score by Weyes Blood.

Commissioned by Pioneer Works.


Screened at SF Kino.

Image: Shezad Dawood, It was a time that was a time (2015), single channel, Super 8 and SD transferred to HD Video, 16′ 27″, video still. Commissioned by Pioneer Works, courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor, London.

Leviathan Episode 1 – Ben

HD Video, 13’ 30”, with sound

Leviathan Episode 1 – Ben is the first episode of a ten-part film cycle conceived and directed by Shezad Dawood that looks at some of the urgent issues of our times. In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, Leviathan explores notions of marine welfare, migration and mental health and their possible interconnections. The ten-part film cycle was inaugurated in Venice in May 2017 to coincide with the 57th Art Biennale, and will unfold between 2017 and 2020.

In this work, the artist notes, you may notice the particular segue of images between those shot and those drawn from archives, and the way they interface to create meaning and visceral connections between subject matter. But also, he advises, just let go and be immersed in the moment, then process later.

Commissioned by Outset, Salford University with the support of the Contemporary Art Society.

Screened at SF Kino.

Image: Shezad Dawood, Leviathan Episode 1 – Ben (2017), HD Video, 13′ 30″, video still. Commissioned by Outset, Salford University and with the support of the Contemporary Art Society, courtesy of UBIK Productions.