Shezad Dawood: Three Arrangements for Annabel and Cello

27 February - 11 April 2015 The Box


Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is pleased to present a new film in The Box by acclaimed British artist Shezad Dawood. Three Arrangements for Annabel & Cello (2015) is constructed as a series of visual ‘scores’ for performer and model Annabel Hornsby.


Looking at ideas of looping, appropriation and ‘cannibalism of the image,’ the work is enacted in three sequential parts. Each part is enacted by the performer – largely seen in silhouette – in front of a projection screen, playing with the idea of the shadow play of the world, as in the analogy of Plato’s cave. A corresponding audio score to the visual score of the work, developed by composer and cellist Vicky Steiri, responds to each part in turn - utilising other musical references, to extend the resonance of the piece.


Part 1 features Annabel in profile moving through silhouettes of African statuary on an otherwise white projection. Playing on the motif of Surrealism’s negotiation of race (cf. Man Ray’s Noir et Blanche), the work recasts both figurine and ‘subject’ as mere shadows. Part 2 features the silhouette and body of Annabel moving through the shadow’s cast by the multiple insect-like eyelets of an Igbo mask, also reminiscent of a science-fiction prop. Part 3 features Annabel moving across a specially prepared edit of various images from the artist’s own archive of moving and still images, which propose an alternate topography of the body as a score in various times and places.


Shezad Dawood (b. 1974) graduated from Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood works across film, painting and sculpture to juxtapose discrete systems of image, language, site and multiple narratives, using the editing process as a method to explore meanings and forms between film and painting. His practice often involves collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different territories, to physically and conceptually map far-reaching lines of enquiry.


Dawood’s work has recently been shown in solo exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery (2014), Parasol Unit, London (2014), and Modern Art Oxford (2012), and group exhibitions including those at MACBA, Barcelona (2014), Photo-Museum Winterthur (2014), Sharjah Art Foundation (2013), Tate Britain (2010 + 2009), the Busan Biennale (2010), and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).


Shezad is a Jarman Award nominee (2012) and one of the winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2011). He currently lives and works in London, where he is Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster.


Dawood was recently commissioned by Sadler’s Wells & Tate to produce a site-specific textile piece for Sadler’s Wells’ exhibition wall.  This work will be on view until 26 April 2015. Dawood’s film Piercing Brightness (2013) will be screened at MoMA, New York on 20 April 2015.