In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, the Leviathan cycle explores notions of marine welfare, migration and mental health and their possible interconnections. Leviathan is set in an imaginary future whose inhabitants are the survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. Each of the ten episodes is told from the point of view of a different character and follows them as they drift across Europe, Asia and North Africa, encountering a series of idiosyncratic communities. Leviathan explores where we could be if a deeper understanding of trauma and climate erosion is not found, leaving us to deal with not only a humanitarian crisis, but a wider crisis affecting our entire biosphere. How do we respond to the key challenges that face us?
Shezad Dawood works across the disciplines of 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. His film works have been screened internationally, including Art Rotterdam (2018); New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery, Manchester (2018); Screen City Biennial, Stavanger (2017); Pera Film | Pera Museum, Istanbul (2016); MoMA, New York (2015); Floating Cinema, London (2015); Nitehawk Cinema, Brooklyn (2015); Kurz/ Dust, CCA Warsaw (2015); Art Dubai Film (2014); Aspen Art Museum (2014); Flatpack Film festival, FACT Liverpool, and Manchester Cornerhouse (2013).