Shezad Dawood: Leviathan in Rotterdam

Shezad Dawood: Leviathan in Rotterdam

Until 27 January Shezad Dawood presents Leviathan, a solo exhibition at A Tale of a Tub in Rotterdam which explores the potential future impact of climate change and conflict if ways to develop a deeper understanding of collective trauma and of ecosystems are not found.

The exhibition features film works, sculpture and textile painting, notably the newly launched most recent episode of Dawood’s Leviathan Cycle, the acclaimed series of films which looks at migration, marine welfare and mental health as interconnecting cycles.

The Leviathan Cycle began in 2017 with the showing of its inaugural episode in Venice. The series of films is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which a cataclysmic solar event has transformed the world and set new challenges to its survivors. Each episode in the series focuses on a different character in a different part of the world. To produce The Leviathan Cycle Dawood has carried out extensive research in dialogue with marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists.

Dawood’s latest film, Leviathan Episode 5: Ismael was commissioned by A Tale of a Tub, Fogo Island Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, and Toronto Biennial of Art, and explores the role of maritime law in creating relationships between cargo ships, trade zones, trade practices and international politics.

An earlier film by Dawood, the 2015 work It Was a Time That Was a Time is also featured in the exhibition. The work is the result of a collaborative filmmaking experiment recorded using devices capable of surviving a theoretical environmental disaster. The filmmaking process was also a reflection on how “rules of society, gender and relationships are given new expression” following a catastrophe. Also on display in Leviathan is a series of large-scale textile paintings developed by Dawood in collaboration with Venice textile manufacturer Fortuny and the Labanof in Milan. The Labanof investigates personal items lost by migrants in sea crossings at Lampedusa in order to help families identify their relatives; archive objects from the Labanof act as visual references for the textile pieces.

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Leviathan is on display until 27 January 2019 at A Tale of A Tub, Justus van Effenstraat 44, 3027 TK Rotterdam, NL

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Shezad Dawood
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