Where do we go now?, Shezad Dawood, resin and polychromatic paint, 100 x 140 x 80 cm, 2017
Leviathan is a major 5-year multifaceted project by Shezad Dawood that looks at the relationships between the most urgent issues of our time: the intersection between climate change, migration and mental health. The project originally launched at Venice Biennale in 2017 and comprises a 10-part film, VR trilogy, sculptures, paintings, neons and an exclusive public programme bringing together scientists, philosophers, activists, anthropologists, futurists, oceanographers and paleoclimatologists. Now halfway to completion, with 6 film episodes and the first VR work complete, Levaithan has already exhibited at 6 international institutions, with a further 11 forthcoming.
For the Creative Folkestone Triennial, Shezad Dawood will present Leviathan Legacy 2 – the second part of his VR trilogy. The three works that comprise the Leviathan Legacy VR Trilogy look 150, 300 and 500 years into the future respectively. The first has been developed with Marine Science researchers and is experienced as an immersive journey in which rising sea levels and calcification of the oceans have led to new hybrid species and new social hierarchies. Akin to world-building science-fiction, this project uses cutting-edge research to shape its world and puts the viewer in the middle of a plausible, and yet playful, narrative journey through our coastal and marine environment of the future.
Leviathan Legacy 2, will situate audiences 300 years in the future, in which the surface of Planet Earth is 90% water. Here, the audience will inhabit a cephalopod body, informed by scientific predictions of the hybrid forms that humans may come to inhabit. As they move through our future amphibious world, the user will meet new and old species and organisms that have survived or evolved a changing climate situation.
While dates for future public presentations remain uncertain, we will be sharing information about the development of this ambitious digital work along with exclusive behind the scenes content. Watch this page and UP Projects’ social media for more.
Leviathan Legacy 2 by Shezad Dawood is commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2020 by UP Projects. It is supported by Arts Council England, and is part of CUPIDO, an Interreg project supported by the North Sea Programme of the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.
Shezad Dawood works across disciplines including 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.
Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood is a Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He lives and works in London.