Shezad Dawood: Leviathan

MOCA Toronto presents elements from Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan, an ambitious ten-part film cycle launched in Venice in 2017. This episodic “monster” encourages us to contemplate urgent issues, expands upon diverse research and bridges disciplines and borders to include local voices within a global forum.

At MOCA, we launch the Leviathan journey by presenting Episode 1: Ben, 2017. This tale of oceanic ecology and migration is shown alongside the first instalment of Dawood’s virtual reality project, VR Leviathan Legacy, 2018, where visitors can delve 150 years into a future irreversibly altered by climate-change. The cycle continues with the most recent episode of the film cycle: Episode 5: Ismael, which was co-commissioned by MOCA and contains Canadian footage. On floor 1 the “Leviathan Resource Centre” will provide additional reference materials and access to the online Reading Room and Salon.

Leviathan brings together marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists to envision a future, which is unnervingly very much like our present, to consider possible links between borders, mental health and marine welfare. The project grows as partnerships are developed and includes a web of essays, documented talks, virtual reality components, sculptures, textiles, neons and more.

Shezad Dawood is an interdisciplinary artist, who uses research and collaboration as a way of informing his work in film, installation, writing, publishing, VR and sculpture. His key concerns are marine ecology, non-aligned movement and the ethics of place. Dawood’s work has been exhibited and won awards at multiple biennales and film festivals, and features in the permanent collections of LACMA, TATE, and the British Museum amongst others.


Shezad Dawood: Leviathan

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