Shezad Dawood works across the disciplines of painting, film, neon, sculpture, performance, virtual reality and other digital media to ask key questions of narrative, history and embodiment. Using the editing process as a method to explore both meanings and forms, his practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across multiple audiences and communities. Through a fascination with the esoteric, otherness, the environment and architectures both material and virtual, Dawood interweaves stories, realities and symbolism to create richly layered artworks.


Recent solo exhibitions include: New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2020), The Bluecoat Liverpool (2019);  MOCA Toronto (2019); FriezeLIVE, London  (2019); Kunstverein, Munich (2019); A Lost Future: Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2018); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London (2014); Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (both 2014), Modern Art Oxford (2012).


Group exhibitions include: WIELS Bruxelles (2020), Manifesta 13 (2020), Lahore Biennial (2020), Dhaka Art Summit (2020), Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019) – Jury Prize for Encroachments; Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Taipei Biennial (2014), Marrakech Biennial (2014), MACBA Barcelona (2014), Witte de With (2013), Busan Biennale (2010), Tate Triennial:  Altermodern (2009), and the Venice Biennale (2009). Selected collections include Tate; UBS; LACMA, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Canada; Government Art Collection, UK; US Government Art Collection; The British Museum, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; Kiran Nadar, Delhi; Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and Mathaf, Doha.


His film works have been screened internationally, including at the ICA, London; MoMA, New York and at various film festivals including CPH:DOX, Oberhausen, Aesthetica (winner of Artist’s Film Prize 2015); his 2013 Feature Film, Piercing Brightness, was released theatrically and on Blu-Ray/DVD by Soda Pictures.


Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before completing his PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood is a Senior Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He lives and works in London.


Shezad Dawood CV




Publications/Essays [Selection]


'Shezad Dawood: Kalimpong', a bookwork by Shezad Dawood, Edited by Camilla Palestra. Sternberg Press and Timothy Taylor, London, 2016 ISBN: 978-3-95679-276-2


‘Chandigarh is in India’, Edited by Shanay Jhaveri. Published by The Shoestring Publisher, Mumbai 2016. ISBN 81-904720-7-0


‘It was a time that was a time’, Edited by Gabriel Florenz and David Everitt Howe. Published by Pioneer Works, New York, 2015. ISBN 978-0-9905935-6-0

Essay by Sophie Cavoulacos, Future Past, pp. 17-25

Michael Vazquez in Conversation with Shezad Dawood, pp. 41-47


‘Subplots to a City. Ten Years of In Certain Places’, Edited by Charles Quick, Elaine Speight, and Gerry van Noord. Published by In Certain Places, Preston, 2014. ISBN 9780993049804


‘Blow Up, Antonioni's Classic Film and Photography’, Edited by Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Walter Moser. Text by Roland Fischer, Philippe Garner, Anna Hanreich, Gabriele Jutz, Astrid Mahler, Walter Moser, Thomas Seelig. Published by Hatje Cantz, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-3775737371


‘Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film’, Ziba Ardalan (ed.), texts by Oliver Basciano and Sarah Brown, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, 2014. ISBN 9780957351820

Essay by Oliver Basciano, Certain bounds hold against chaos. Or what happens when art lets chaos through the cracks, pp. 74-78


‘Where are we now?’, Edited by Hicham Khalidi, Amanda Sarroff, Natasha Hoare, Marrakech Biennale and Jap Sam Books, 2014 ISBN 978-94-90322-46-5


‘Open Hearth Surgery’, Edited by Aya Mousawi & Simon Sakhai, The Moving Museum, London, 2013, pp. 215-224 ISBN 978-0-9575853-2-4


‘Black Sun. Edited by Gerrie van Noord; Texts by Shezad Dawood, Megha Ralapati and Tom Trevor, Ridinghouse 2013 in association with Devi Art Foundation and Arnolfini, ISBN 978-1-905464-845


‘Photography as a Performative Act. Shezad Dawood and Amelia Jones’, in Perform Repeat Record. Live Art in Hisotry, Eds. Amelia Jones & Adrian Heathfield, Intellect: Bristol, 2012, pp. 483-492, ISBN 978 1 84150 489 6


Piercing Brightness as an Exploration of the An-archic Imaginary (An Interview by Mark Bartlett) in 'Journal of Visual Culture', Vol. 12 No 3, December 2013, pp. 431-449


Piercing Brightness: Shezad Dawood, Ed. Gerrie van Noord, inc. texts by Sam Thorne, Abdellah Karroum, Shumon Basar, Mark Bartlett & Jean Fisher, Koenig Books, London, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86335-146-5.

Essay by Mark Bartlett, Synthesist Imaginary and Recyclage, pp. 59-87


Footnote to a Project*: The 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Exhibition catalogue, texts by Sharmini Pereira, Hamra Abbas, Jananne Al-Ani, Shezad Dawood, Nadia Kaabi-Linke & Timo Nasseri, Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai, 2011, p.209-311, ISBN 978-0-9560704-5-6.


Altermodern, Ed. Nicolas Bourriaud, Tate Publishing, London, 2009, p.14, p.89, p.94-97, ISBN 978-1854378170.


Amelia Jones, Seeing Differently: From Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) to Shezad Dawood’s Make It Big (2005), in 'Journal of Visual Culture', Vol. 7 No. 2, August 2008, p.181-203.


Feature: Reconstruction, Shezad Dawood, Bookworks, London, 2008, ISBN 978-1906012083.


Artist’s Studio, Shezad Dawood, Culture Shock Media, London, 2007, ISBN 0- 9546999-5-5



Articles [Selection]

Korea JoongAng Daily, October 2018. 'Must see works at Gwangju Biennale'


Art Asia Pacific, March 2018. 'A Meticulous Obsession: Shezad Dawood's Virtual Reality Kalimpong' by Mimi Wong


Elephant, Issue 33, Winter 2017-18. ‘Shezad Dawwod: Labanof Cycle’, London


Fruit of the Forest, June 2017. 'About Leviathan Cycle, migrants, art and Nature. A conversation with Shezad Dawood' by Federica Tattoli


Exibart, June 2017. 'Leviathan' Venice by Irene Guida


The Guardian, May 2017. 'Leviathan' Venice


Art Tribune, May 2017. 'Leviathan' Venice


ATP, May 2017. 'Leviathan' Venice


The Art Newspaper, May 2017. 'Leviathan' Venice


Art Forum, January 2017. 'Kalimpong' Timothy Taylor, London


Frieze, October 2016.'Kalimpong' Timothy Taylor, London


Financial Times, September 2016. 'Kalimpong' Timothy Taylor, London


Wired, September 2016. 'Kalimpong' Timothy Taylor, London


White Hot Magazine, October 2015. 'It was a time that was a time', Pioneer works by Isabella Ellaheh Hughes


Art Forum, Critics Picks, October 2015. 'It was a time that was a time', Pioneer Works, by Anna Wallace-Thompson


Frieze, January 2015, ‘Taipei Biennial’, text by Tom Morton


Flash Art Italia, September 2014, text by Lavinia Filippi


e-flux, December 2013, Journal 50. Towards the Possible Film (A Script with Some Notable Interruptions)


The Art Newspaper, January 2013, ‘Cross-cultural ruses. Shezad Dawood’s multimedia works reveal hidden worlds’, by Stephen Clarke, p. 55


ArtSlant, 3 June 2013, ‘Shezad Dawood Rackroom’ by Philippa Snow


Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Art, Issue 3, Summer 2012, ‘Bright Narrow Spaces’, text by Sara Raza,
Front cover and p.84-93


Art Review, Issue 60, Summer 2012, ‘Dormant cultural histories, a pencil moustache, Pakistani
models, hoodies on bikes, Acid Mothers Temple, Beat droupouts, Rothko, District 9, a Dream
Machine, bursts of colour’, text by JJ Charlesworth, p. 120-123


Dazed & Confused, Vol. III, 10 June 2012, ‘UFOs, Mormons and aliens that think they’re human’,

text by Simon Jablonski, p.142-143


i-D, Issue No. 319, May 2012, ‘I Want To Believe’, text by Felix Nash, p.265, 24 February 2012, ‘Un-Thinking Systems: Shezad Dawood In Conversation with Sarah


Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing, Volume 26, No.1, March 2011, ‘Shezad Dawood:
Narrative, Myth and Translation’, text by Sally Miller, p.33-39.


Metropolis, No.6, December 2010 – January 2011, ‘Een Wereld Van Koopmannen En Denkers’,
text by Grant Watson, p.56-63.


Beaux Arts, 2010, ‘Slumbertown: Special Paris, Le Courant Altermoderne’, text by Stephanie
Moisdon, p.80-83.


Tank Magazine, 2009, Volume 5, Issue 6, 'Culture's Last Stand', text by Ana Finel Honigman, p.30- 31


Aesthetica, 27 March 2009, ‘Tate Triennal: The End of Post-Modernism’, text by Niamh Coghin,


The Independent , 6 February 2009, ‘No Sharks here, but Plenty to Bite On’, text by Alice Jones,


Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 7 No. 2, August 2008, ‘Seeing Difference Differently’, text by Amelia
Jones, p.181-203.


Art  in_America April 2008, April 2008, text by Matthias Harder, p.176-177.


Art Review March 08, Issue 20, March 2008, text by Richard Dyer, p.150.


The Times, Monday, June 9 2008, text by Iain Aitch, p. 21.


Miser & Now, No. 11, 2007, text by Brook McGowan, p.7 -11.


Dazed Confused, Vol. 2 Issue 55. January 2007, text by Isabel Stevens, p.44-48.


Time Out London, No. 2007, 28 October – 3 November 2010, ‘The Jewels of Aptor: Shezad
Dawood’, text by JJ Charlesworth, p.59 , p.63.


Arts Asia Pacific, Volume 2, August 2007, p.199.


Arts Asia Pacific, Spring 2005, No 44, text by Sara Raza, p.54-61.


Independent on Sunday, 19 June 2005, ‘Welcome to Paradise’, text by C. Grimshaw, p.45-47.



Articles on Films



The Wire, September 2013, ‘Piercing Brightness’, text by Joseph Stannard


The Quietus, 6 June 2013, ‘Piercing Brightness Screening at the ICA’, text by Matt Colegate


Blouin Art Info, 7 June 2013, ‘Piercing Brightness Director Shezad Dawood Boldly Goes to
Preston’ by Marshall Julius


Screen Daily, 4 October 2011, ‘AND Festival: Apes, pig bladders and aliens, oh my!’, text by Wendy
Mitchell,, 28 September 2011, ‘Abandon Normal Devices: Shezad Dawood's Preston’, text by Millie


BFI Sight & Sound, September-October 2011, ‘Abandon Normal Devices: Near chaos and a happy
ending’, text by David Sorfa,


The National, Arts & Life, 27 July 2011, ‘Shezad Dawood’s latest work proves a piercing vision’, text
by Christopher Lord, p.3