Artwork: Shezad Dawood, Leviathan

Shezad Dawood, 'Leviathan Episode 1: Ben' 

This screening of Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan Part 1: Ben (2017) complements a conversation between Dawood, the writer and academic Marina Warner and Marc Davis moderated by Nick Hackworth in the ArtReview Bar on 6 February, 2019.

It forms part of Dawood's wider Leviathan project, which extends to a 10-part film, a VR trilogy, paintings, sculptures, neons and an extensive public programme across multiple international institutions, with the remaining chapters of the 10-part film and VR trilogy due for completion by 2021. 


'Leviathan is set in an imaginary future whose inhabitants are the survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character and follows them as they drift across Europe, Asia and North Africa, encountering a series of idiosyncratic communities. Filming locations include the Institute of Marine Sciences’ oceanographic platform in the Adriatic Sea, the Natural History Museum in London and an abandoned island in the Venetian lagoon.


In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, Dawood has been exploring some key fault lines of the present and their possible interconnections. Taking a global and collective approach, Leviathan is a reflection on where we could be if a deeper understanding of trauma and climate erosion is not found, looking at what is not only a humanitarian crisis, but a wider crisis within our biosphere.'

From the text accompanying Leviathan's launch at Palazzina Canonica, Venice