Shezad Dawood (b.1974, London) works in a variety of media. Recalling influences as diverse as cosmology, science fiction and Sufism, his works create multi-layered narratives that undermine conventional ways of seeing, re-imagining moments from multiple sites and histories.
For his exhibition “Piercing Brightness” at Modern Art Oxford, Dawood presents new film, painting and light sculpture. And its title, “Piercing Brightness”, evokes the paradox of illumination, which obscures as much as it reveals. Through these works and the connections between them…
“Presented in a purpose-built viewing space, Trailer explores the possibilities of film as an immersive experience.”
Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Production Still, 2011. The Arrival – Jiang and Shin (played by Chen Ko and Jennifer Lim) arrive in their spacecraft at Top O Slate in East Lancashire, North West England. Courtesy of UBIK Productions Ltd. (This image features ‘Halo’, an artwork by John Kennedy, commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts.)
Science Fiction Sufism At Modern Art Oxford
For his exhibition “Piercing Brightness” at Modern Art Oxford, Dawood presents new film, painting and light sculpture. And its title, “Piercing Brightness”, evokes the paradox of illumination, which obscures as much as it reveals. Through these works and the connections between them, Dawood calls into question our attempts to reconcile the passing of time and the creation of identity in our own lives.
Trailer is a 15-minute, alternative edit from the artist’s eponymous feature-length film Piercing Brightness. Set and shot in Preston, Lancashire, Piercing Brightness uses science fiction as a prism through which to reflect on race, migration and identity. The film tells the story of Shin and Jiang, a young Chinese man and woman, sent to earth from another planet to retrieve the ‘Glorious 100’. But their mission raises a dilemma – having forgotten their original purpose, these ‘lost’ aliens have now become a part of human society. As the film unfolds, they begin to question whether they should return to their native planet or remain in their adopted home. In Trailer, Dawood furthers his experimental approach to film, using techniques of splicing and montage to create a constellation of images and sequences that form a fragmented, non-linear narrative. Presented in a purpose-built viewing space, Trailer explores the possibilities of film as an immersive experience.
The first monograph of Shezad Dawood’s multifarious practice, which includes texts by Mark Bartlett, Jean Fisher and Michael Stanley, Director, Modern Art Oxford, also accompanies the exhibition.
The “Piercing Brightness” exhibition is a collaboration between Modern Art Oxford, The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, Cornwall and KINOKINO Centre for Art and Film, Norway.
Shezad Dawood: Piercing Brightness is on view at Modern Art Oxford from 5 April – 10 June 2012