South likes: Shezad Dawood at Parasol Unit, London

Film still, Shezad Dawood Towards the Possible Film, 2014. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation (3)

Shezad Dawood, Towards the Possible Film (production still), 2014. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, Delfina Foundation and in association with Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

South likes: Shezad Dawood at Parasol Unit, London
Towards the Possible Film
Parasol Unit, London, UK
4 April – 25 May, 2014

The film giving the title to the show, Towards the Possible Film, has been shot at Legzira beach in Sidi Ifni, Morocco, a territory where many wars have been fought, between Spain, Morocco, and the independent Saharan tribes. In this liminal territory, which is strongly characterised by the coexistence of different cultures, Shezad Dawood staged his filmic narration elaborating on the human response to episodes of confrontation, exploration and invasion. Dawood represents a backdrop reminiscent of martian badlands, where he describes the troubled encounter between two travellers, emerged from the sea in some astronaut outfits, and local tribesmen indulging in a pre-technological lifestyle. Thanks also to the immediate structure of the fictional narration, the film takes into high consideration issues related to the region where it was shot. Just to make an example, the title of the film is written in Neo-Tifinagh alphabet, an ancient script that was used just to write love letters and coded messages. During the 1980s and 1990s the Moroccan state arrested and imprisoned people using this script. Afterwards, when Berber became one of Morrocan official languages, Neo-Tifinagh was chosen to be its official script of Berber language even though it hadn’t been in use for centuries, for both latin and arabic were unsuitable due to past histories of conflicts and colonisation. A second film on view at Parasol Unit, A Mystery Play, was shot in a masonic building in Winnipeg and deals with masonic rituals as well as with the performance and burlesque history of the city, from Buster Keaton to Harry Houdini. Together with the films other works by Dawood are on display, like Black Sun, dealing with mystical tranformation of the self and with the notion of the dark night of the soul, and Mên-an-Tol, a painted vintage textile stitched by Pakistani women that creates a dialogue between fferent worlds and realities, both present and past.

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://parasol-unit.org/shezad-dawood-towards-the-possible-film

Film still Shezad Dawood Towards the Possible Film 2014 Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation

Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film (production still), 2014. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, Delfina Foundation and in association with Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

Shezad Dawood, Men-An-Tol, 2013

Shezad Dawood, Mên-an-Tol, 2013, acrylic on vintage textile, 200 x 274 cm. Courtesy Paradise Row, London

Shezad Dawood, A Mystery Play

Shezad Dawood, A Mystery Play, (production still), 2010, Super 16 mm transferred to HD, 15 minutes. Commissioned by Plug In ICA, Winnipeg. Courtesy of LUX, London

 

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