Night in the Garden of Love
Inspired by & featuring Yusef Lateef
18 May – 13 August 2023
A new 2-player VR environment will be launched as part of Shezad Dawood's upcoming exhibition titled Night in the Garden of Love after Lateef’s 1988 novella, the exhibition features music and a selection of drawings by Lateef together with five new, interconnected works by Dawood.
Two visitors at a time can wear VR head-sets to enter a virtual reality experience, riffing on scenes from Lateef’s novella. A key figure is the Mutant, who moves through the script like a dancer, guiding visitors through Lateef’s vision, as re-imagined by Dawood. The soundtrack features original recordings by Lateef released on his own label, YAL Records. This is the first time Dawood has created a dual-player VR experience, to underscore the idea of a garden as a space for intimacy and dialogue.
Dawood sees this exhibition as a dialogue between his practice and Lateef’s, like the call-and-response exchanges in musical improvisation. Dawood considers Lateef’s novella to be a forerunner of much recent cli-fi: sci-fi exploring climate issues. “There are all sorts of portals within Lateef’s novella, which moves from a dystopian future Detroit, into radical ideas of ecology and recycling,” he states. Dawood is interested in technology for its transformative potential to help us imagine new forms of togetherness. “It is meant to be an almost metaphysical space, but I read Lateef’s garden as a virtual space.”
Produced by UBIK Productions. Co-commissioned by WIELS, Brussels and Aga Khan Museum in Toronto
Visions of Paradise
Becontree Centenary Commission by Create London
The White House, Becontree
14 August 2021
A new digital animation will be part of a permanent public sculpture by Shezad Dawood to celebrate the centenary of the iconic Becontree Estate, commissioned by Create London. Inspired by the ‘working-class paradise’ description of Becontree Estate at the time of its construction, the work will connect Becontree’s pre-industrial past with its present day through archival and filmed material overlaid with symbols and motifs selected in dialogue with local communities.
Concert From Bangladesh on Tour
8 August – 31 December 2021
Concert From Bangladesh is on tour following its launch on 1 August 2021 commemorating the 50 years of the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh.
- 7pm - Peckhamplex Cinema - Screening of Concert From Bangladesh
- 8:30pm - Straw Auditorium at Bold Tendencies - In-conversation between Shezad Dawood and Chisenhale Director Dr. Zoé Whitley9:30pm onwards - Concert Bar at Bold Tendencies - Live DJ set by Concert From Bangladesh electronics producer Provhat Rahman
12 September 2021 - Pioneer Works (NYC): Concert From Bangladesh as part of Pioneer Works' Second Sundays
- 8pm - Live DJ set by Concert From Bangladesh curator and producer Enayet Kabir
- 9pm - Screening of Concert From Bangladesh
- 7pm - Screening of Concert From Bangladesh followed by a talk with Shezad Dawood and artist and art psychotherapist Thahmina Begum
- 3pm - Screening of Concert From Bangladesh
- 3:45pm - Journalist and presenter Momtaz Begum-Hossain moderates in-conversation with Concert From Bangladesh electronics producer Provhat Rahman and assistant curator Ruxmini Choudhury
Concert From Bangladesh
Online, Pioneer Works and in-person at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
1 August – 31 December 2021
Sunday 1 August at 6pm (Dhaka, London and NYC times) is the world premiere of Concert From Bangladesh by Shezad Dawood, commissioned by UBIK Productions and Samdani Art Foundation. The concert will go live to audiences online via Pioneer Works' website and through an open-air screening at Yorkshire Sculpture Park part of Yorkshire Sculpture International.
The concert will take viewers on an expansive sonic journey spanning six centuries, beginning with renowned Baul singer Arif Baul accompanied by instrumental virtuosos Nazrul Islam, Saidur Rahman, and Sohel. This will be followed by a piece composed by Enayet and Nishit Dey exploring the shared musical language between Nazrul sangeet, classical raga and 90s jungle, by blending cutting edge electronic production and arrangements by Enayet, Provhat Rahman and Siaminium, with classical raga and Nazrul sangeet vocals by Meerashri Arshee and Moumita Haque, Bansuri flute by Jawaad Mustakim Al Muballig and sitar performance by Nishit Dey. The concert will end with the Bangladeshi hip hop duo Tabib Mahmud and 12-year-old Gully Boy Rana, whose socially engaged lyrics highlight some of the pressing issues the Concert aims to fundraise for.
Audiences will be able to donate, buy ethically-produced merchandise designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio or download digital albums via Pioneer Works' website. All proceeds raised will be equally distributed between the performing musicians and Bangladeshi charity organisation Friendship, which provides healthcare for climate change refugees and promotes women’s rights in Bangladesh.
The online event on 1 August will be accompanied by an in-person open-air screening in the Formal Gardens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Wakefield) as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International, alongside a Curator Walk and Talk of sculptures in Sylheti and English.
Concert From Bangladesh
British Council Digital Collaboration Fund
Online, details TBC
1 August 2021
UBIK Productions has been jointly awarded the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund with our partners Samdani Art Foundation to produce Concert From Bangladesh, a groundbreaking mixed reality project in collaboration with Shezad Dawood. Concert From Bangladesh is supported by the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund, which supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating.
Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone’s Central Library
22 July – 2 November 2021
Shezad Dawood’s The Terrarium premieres in the UK as part of Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 commissioned by UP Projects. Presented alongside Shifter: The Terrarium Triad, a score by Graham Fitkin that explores the generational amnesia leading us to accept new ecological and societal ‘baselines’ without realising a shift has occurred. Complemented by AnthropoPangaea, an immersive online map that allows audiences to learn about some of the planet's strangest sea inhabitants.
This is Public Space, UP Projects
21 July 2021
AnthropoPangaea - a new digital artwork by Shezad Dawood commissioned by UP Projects' This Is Public Space - launches to coincide with the UK premiere of The Terrarium at Folkestone Triennial. Viewers can explore an interactive world map that is determined by and brings to life various weird and wonderful aquatic creatures, while animating accelerated geological change and presenting a version of the earth that refuses a fixed colonial logic.
Notes for Tomorrow, Independent Curators International
15 February – 11 April 2021
Leviathan Cycle was selected by Fatos Üstek for Notes for Tomorrow, a new traveling exhibition conceived by ICI, featuring artworks selected by alumni of the Curatorial Intensive to reflect on a new global reality ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this cultural moment of transition this exhibition is a source of inspiration from the recent past and provides guiding perspectives for the future.
Episode 3: Arturo
Showing at Peer to Peer: UK/HK Film Festival
11 – 14 November 2020
Leviathan Cycle, Episode 3: Arturo (2017) is showing at Peer to Peer: UK/HK Film Festival, bringing Hong Kong and UK-based artists together to reflect on global issues, and present new digital artwork.
Episode 4: Jamila
Showing at Kino der Kunst
27 October – 1 November 2020
Leviathan Cycle, Episode 4: Jamila (2018) selected for Kino der Kunst 2020: Forbidden Beauty, and nominated for the International Competition in the category "Existence & Beauty".
Episode 6: Ding Ling & Senait
Showing at Manifesta13
16 October – 30 November 2020
World Premiere of Leviathan Cycle, Episode 6: Ding Ling & Senait at MANIFESTA13 (Les Parallèles du Sud), as part of the exhibition Infinite Village curated by Francisca Viudes and Cora Von Zeschwitz & Tilman.
Showing at Kai Art Center
19 September – 20 November 2020
World Premiere of Shezad Dawood's latest VR The Terrarium (2020) at Kai Art Center (Tallinn), as part of the exhibition Leviathan: the Paljassaare Chapter curated by Inês Geraldes Cardoso, Karin Laansoo and Triin Metsla.