Shezad Dawood’s work links the communities and locations of varying cultures, as well as linking histories and fictions. Utilising art-house and low-budget filmmaking to restage and reimagine events and scenes appropriated from a variety of these avenues, Dawood questions the performative process of image making. Science fiction and the occult provide a particular reference point, as Dawood maps cross-cultural influences, and engages with contemporary social issues and notions of appropriation and a global anthropology.
The feature length Trailer, for example, sees Dawood take on structuralist film, and modern science fiction, in order to progress his discussion of race and migration. Piercing Brightness, a later fully realized science fiction film chronicles the story of a young Chinese couple who arrive on Earth to retrieve members of their alien race. These members had been sent to Earth generations ago to study and observe, but over time had become corrupted, and lost ties with their original purpose and ideals. Again, issues of migration and cultural exchanges are heavily implied, and remain personal to Dawood and his varied cultural heritage.
Shezad Dawood was trained at Central Saint Martins, and the Royal College of Art, London, and holds PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University. He was a winner of the 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, and his work has been exhibited internationally, including as part of ‘Altermodern’, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, at Tate Britain, and the 53rd Venice Biennale (both 2009), and the Busan Biennale in Korea (2010). Dawood’s further extensive exhibitions include interventions in cities such as Tangiers, Mumbai, Karachi, Hamburg, and Singapore. Solo exhibitions have been held at Modern Art Oxford, 2012, and Parasol Unit, 2013. He is also a Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster.