Film co-commissioned by Delfina Foundation will be shown at Taipei Triennial and Leeds Art Gallery.

Shezad Dawood, Towards the Possible, 2014. Film still. Courtesy: Film Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation.

Delfina Foundation is delighted to announce the next solo UK exhibition of Shezad Dawood’s new short film Towards the Possible Film at Leeds Art Gallery. The film is a co-commission from Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation, and premiered at Marrakech Biennale before being staged at Art Dubai, Parasol unit for contemporary art, and the Taipei Triennial.

Dawood’s Towards the Possible Film formally enacts, and contextually engages with anthropological concepts of indigenousness and the politics of language and translation through the prismatic genre of science fiction. The film traces, or ‘documents’ a series of fictional journeys through time and space, examining our individual, cultural and political sense of place and overlaying the world of capital and the mystical.

The action of the film sees a tribal group savagely attack blue-skinned astronauts who arrive on earth from space. Set in the beaches of Sidi Ifni in Morocco, Towards the Possible Film charts the arrival of the astronauts and the attack through several distinct camera techniques. The incorporation of an ‘animist camera’, for example, activates the Martian landscape of the coast of Sidi Ifni.

A monologue composed of fragments of texts by Dawood himself and a range of authors key to the artist’s research, are rendered in Tamazight. This ancient Berber dialect, rooted in the Phoenician civilisation, has been recently instituted in Morocco as an official language.

Playing upon the relationship between text and image and moving deftly between languages with contrasting political power, the film is shown as a three screen installation, incorporating a central screen playing out the film, and two side screens showing French and Arabic inter-titles rendered in large text.

The film has been developed through a series of round-table discussions at Dar al-Ma’mûn, Morocco and Witte De With Netherlands between the artist and collaborators who include; Defne Ayas, director, Witte De With (Netherlands), curator Hicham Khalidi (Belgium / Morocco) writer and art critic Kaelen Wilson- Goldie (Lebanon), writer Adania Shibili (Palestine), theorist and curator Morad Montazami (Iran / France) and anthropologist Kenneth Brown (USA).

The film-score has been created by improvisation musician and visual artist Raed Yassin (Lebanon).

Towards the Possible Film is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation, in partnership with Leeds Art Gallery, Art Dubai Projects, Witte de With, Marrakech Biennale, British Council, University of Westminster, Chemould Prescott Road, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, and DDar al-Ma’mûn, and in association with Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. Developed in close partnership with Dabateatr, Rabat. Film and Video Umbrella is supported by Arts Council England.