Encroachments (Premiered at Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber)

Dawood, S. 2019. Encroachments (Premiered at Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber). Sharjah, UAE 07 Mar - 10 Jun 2019

CreatorsDawood, S.
Description

Encroachments (2019), an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience and installation, explores the ‘grey area of ownership’ and attendant ideas of sovereignty, private property and the politics of space in the two largest cities of Pakistan, Lahore and Karachi. It was first presented as part of the 2019 Sharjah Biennial, where it was awarded a special mention prize by the Sharjah Art Foundation.

The VR, contained within two mirrored installations comprising neon, wallpaper, tapestries, sculpture and print, takes a pragmatic and oblique look at the relations between Pakistan and the US since partition in 1947.

The term ‘encroachments’ refers to the backlash against so-called ‘illegal structures’ built into and onto existing private and state infrastructure. These structures underscore the lack of social space within rubrics of private and public land ownership and the insufficiently served needs of the entire population.

A central element of the VR experience is the proposed building for the US Embassy in Karachi, which Dawood has spent years extensively researching. Designed by architect Richard Neutra in the 1950s, the building now exists in a state of limbo. It was completed after Pakistan moved its capital to Islamabad and then required constant upgrades to meet evolving US diplomatic security standards until it was sold by the US State Department in 2014. On the VR journey to, and onward from, the ‘embassy’, viewers pass through various parallel environments such as Ferozsons in Lahore, a renowned colonial-era bookshop established in 1894; a secret passage into the Reagan years; and a videogame arcade replete with anti-Soviet propaganda. Each stylistically distinct scene recalls a gaming genre and is punctuated by a different sound track from the late-1960s Pakistani niche music scene of mixed Muslim and Christian musicians, who drew inspiration from classical Indian ragas and the layered sound pioneered by Phil Spector and Brian Wilson.

The VR work is presented within the context of Dawood’s signature textiles and custom-designed wallpaper of digital terrazzo patterns, which reference the ubiquitous use of low-grade terrazzo in Neutra’s US Embassy, 1980s gaming arcades and other places in Pakistan.

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

Date07 Mar 2019
10 Jun 2019
KeywordsDiplomacy, international relations, conflict, architecture, sovereignty, space, property, encroachment, Pakistan, USA, Neutra
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Web address (URL)http://sharjahart.org/sharjah-art-foundation/projects/encroachments-2019
Image creditImage 1: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. VR environment, dimensions variable. Installation view: Sharjah Art Museum, Arts Square. Part of Sharjah Biennial 14: ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ 2019. 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. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
Image 2: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. VR environment, dimensions variable. Installation view: Sharjah Art Museum, Arts Square. Part of Sharjah Biennial 14: ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ 2019. 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. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
Image 3: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. Still from VR environment, duration variable.
Image 4: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. Still from VR environment, duration variable.
Image 5: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. Still from VR environment, duration variable.
Image 6: Shezad Dawood, ‘Encroachments’, 2019. Still from VR environment, duration variable.

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/qw6w1/encroachments-premiered-at-sharjah-biennial-14-leaving-the-echo-chamber


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