Modern Art Oxford announces Shezad Dawood exhibition

Modern Art Oxford presents a major solo exhibition of British artist Shezad Dawood, on view 5 April–10 June 2012. Through new film, installation and textile-based ‘paintings’, Dawood presents multi-layered narratives, which call into question our attempts to reconcile the passing of time and the creation of identity in our own lives. These works draw on influences as diverse as cosmology, science fiction and Sufism and re-imagine moments across time frames, cultures and histories.

Presented in a purpose-built viewing space in the Upper Gallery, Trailer is a 15-minute, alternative edit from the artist’s feature-length film Piercing Brightness, which uses science fiction as a prism through which to reflect on race and migration. New Dream Machine Project is a large-scale kinetic light sculpture and Super 18 mm film that references Brion Gysin’s original Dream Machine – a work conceived to have an effect on the viewer similar to deep meditation or dream sleep. New Dream Machine Project acknowledges Gysin’s influences from Moroccan culture in the 1960s and re-imagines this iconic work for a contemporary audience.

We also present a selection of Dawood’s textile-based paintings. Using Saami textiles as a starting point, these works form part of the research behind the artist’s films and illustrate his investigation into form, meaning and context. The exhibition extends to The Yard with Rendezvous with Rama, an enigmatic constellation of neon light sculpture.

Piercing Brightness is accompanied by a publication that includes texts by academic Mark Bartlett, writer Jean Fisher and Michael Stanley, Director, Modern Art Oxford.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Modern Art Oxford, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and KINOKINO Centre for Art and Film.

The film, Piercing Brightness was commissioned by In Certain Places in association with Modern Art Oxford and with the further support of Harris Museum & Art Gallery, National Lottery through Arts Council England, Preston City Council, Preston Guild 2012, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad using funds from the National Lottery, Lancashire County Council, University of Central Lancashire and Abandon Normal Devices Festival. New Dream Machine Project is funded by the Abraaj Capital Art Prize.


Thursday 26 April, 6pm
Shezad Dawood discusses his practice and the works in Piercing Brightness with film scholar Mark Bartlett.


Saturday 28 April, 3pm
Join Katie Guggenheim and Laura Smith from the Royal College of Art for a tour of Piercing Brightness. Guggenheim and Smith discuss Dawood’s work in the context of ‘ritual without myth’.
Free, just turn up

Thursday 10 May, 6pm
Mark Pilkington, author of Mirage Men and founder of Strange Attractor Press leads an exhibition tour, drawing from his interests in UFO mythology and science fiction film.
Free, just turn up

Saturday 26 May, 6pm
Matthew Graham Gregory, artist, writer and Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Central Lancashire, discusses the works in Piercing Brightness in relation to experimental music.
Free, just turn up

Saturday 2 June, 3pm
Join Melanie Pocock, Exhibitions Associate at Modern Art Oxford, for a tour of the exhibition.
Free, just turn up

Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP
Tuesday & Wednesday 10am–5pm
Thursday–Saturday 10am–7pm
Sunday 12–5pm.
Admission Free.
T +44 (0)1865 722733
[email protected]

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