Shezad Dawood at Sharjah Biennial 14

Shezad Dawood Encroachments Production Still. Courtesy of the artist. (C) the artist 2019

7 March – 10 June 2019

Bagri Foundation is excited to support a new commission by the acclaimed British artist Shezad Dawood to premiere at the 14th edition of the Sharjah Biennial (SB14). His newly-commissioned project Encroachments takes a pragmatic and oblique look at the relations between Pakistan and the US since partition in 1947 through a new Virtual Reality (VR) environment, contained within two mirrored installations comprising neon, wallpaper, tapestries, sculpture and print.The work is a meditation on the idea of sovereignty, private property and the politics of space in the 2 largest cities in Pakistan (Lahore & Karachi).

The VR itself is staged within an environment, wallpapered with digital terrazzo patterns created by the artist to riff off the ubiquitous use of low-grade terrazzo in Pakistan, which features as the flooring in both Neutra’s consulate and was commonplace in Pakistani gaming arcades of the 1980s. And to play further with this juxtaposition of interior and exterior space, the other elements are hung on the wallpaper and comprise: tapestries, neon and an imagined band poster from a teenage Karachi bedroom of the 1960s.

Encroachments is co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and New Art Exchange, Nottingham. Generously supported by the Bagri Foundation. Produced by Sharjah Art Foundation and UBIK Productions. Special thanks to the Hashoo Group, Gul Ahmed, EMI Pakistan. Courtesy of the Artist, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai and Timothy Taylor, London.

We were pleased that Shezad Dawood was awarded a special mention prize by the Sharjah Art Foundation for his work; one of only five given.

Encroachments will travel in an expanded form to New Art Exchange, Nottingham in January 2020.

About Shezad Dawood:
Shezad Dawood works across disciplines to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. Using the editing process as a method to explore both meaning and form, his practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across geographic borders and communities. Recent solo exhibitions include: Leviathan, Mostyn, Wales, and A Tale of a Tub, The Netherlands (2018); Leviathan, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016).

About Sharjah Art Foundation:
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art. Through the Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, year-round exhibitions, film and music programmes, education and community outreach programmes, grants, residencies, commissions and publications, the foundation encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art.

About New Art Exchange:
New Art Exchange (NAE) is a contemporary arts space in Nottingham that celebrates the region’s cultural richness and diversity. It is the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts and their programme of activities – comprising exhibitions, tours, public engagement, learning, talent development and international projects – are dedicated to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. Artists they’ve worked with include Hurvin Anderson, Nikhil Chopra, Hetain Patel, Larissa Sansour, Sonia Boyce, Rashid Rana, Zineb Sedira, Zanele Muholi, Akram Zaatari and John Akomfrah.

Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. VR environment, dimensions variable. Installation view: Sharjah Biennial 14: ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’. Photo courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation.