transjuice

 

home

Embedded_Texts

Local

National

Net_wide

Meta_Texts

Bref

Interviews

Old Texts

Contact

Shezad Dawood - Piercing Brightness - Newlyn Art Gallery - 23 June - 29 September - 2012

Our society is not very good at understanding the polymath. We have to be 'one thing' rather than a collection of roles. As Sam Thorne writes in the catalogue accompanying this exhibition: "Living off the grid may be as simple as doing without gainful employment, an office, colleagues, contracts. These are, of course, all things associated with the figure of the artist." [1]

Rock of Ages, 2010, acrylic on vintage textile

courtesy Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London

This is all part of Dawood's development of a "cross-cultural syntax" [2], where he might be listed typically as "artist / musician / director / playwright" [3]. He does this to "...discover the secrets of creative methodologies and their reasons for existence." [4]

Dawood doesn't necessarily fulfil the expectations of these roles either: "How are we to understand these production stills from a film that was never made?" [5] and "Shezad had already written films without images and books without texts." [6]

New Dream Machine Project, 2011

brushed steel flourescent lights and electronic motor

courtesy Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London

As becomes apparent from the publication accompanying this impressive body of work Dawood's oeuvre is eclectic in media as well as 'reproductions' of already existing works. In the show at Newlyn there is a 15-minute film New Dream Machine Project of a concert at Tangiers which includes his reproduction of Brion Gysin's Dream Machine of the 1960s, a 'zoetrope' which "technically and symbolically, operates on a similar rupture that renews the language of art. It is time to rethink research and action through art and invent the world."

Upstairs there are screen-printed paintings on vintage Pakistani textiles. The symbols reference western abstraction and mystical geometries, and "Dawood's practice operates continuously at one remove, and runs counter to the very idea of singular, primary source material." [8]

Twin Circle Reflex, 2010, acrylic on vintage textile

courtesy Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London

To me, the textile paintings are resonant of the work of Sigmar Polke, as well as the pixelated screen image, and this relates across to his "filmic strategy as a form of expanded cinema in the specific sense originally given to it by the remarkable work of the still marginalised experimental filmmaker and techno-artist Stan VanDerBeek... [who] first defined expanded cinema in 1965..."

In this way Dawood's work also relates across artworld 'areas' like New Media, 'Duchamp Land' (Manovich) and Absract Cinema.

The work is so rich in references that it is impossible to do it justice in a short review, and, indeed, the exhibition only communicates a fraction of his practice largely focused around the Dream Machine (2011) and the images on Pakistani textiles.

It is though a significantly complex way to understand difference on many levels, which I have never seen so broadly developed in art practice before.

Sarah Thompson

www.newlynartgallery.co.uk

[1]Sam Thorne in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.11

[2]ibid

[3]Sam Thorne in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.9

[4]Abdellah Karroum in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.25

[5]Sam Thorne in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.9

[6] Abdellah Karroum in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.28

[7]Abdellah Karroum in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.29

[8]Michael Stanley in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.114

[9]Mark Bartelett in Shezad Dawood, Piercing Brightness, Modern Art Oxford and Koenig Books London, 2012, p.82