January 28, 2013 - Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art - Shezad Dawood
January 28, 2013

Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood, Parasol unit installation view, 2012. Photo Stephen White. © Courtesy of the artist and the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Art Dubai, 2011.

Shezad Dawood
New Dream Machine Project
Parasolstice – Winter Light 2012

5 December 2012–23 February 2013

Parasol unit foundation
for contemporary art
14 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW 

T +44 (0)20 7490 7373 
F +44 (0)20 7490 7775
info [​at​] parasol-unit.org


Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is pleased to present the second work in its Parasolstice – Winter Light series. British artist Shezad Dawood exhibits his immersive, sculptural light piece the New Dream Machine Project, and will create the new film, New Dream Machine Project II, commissioned to accompany this sensory work. For Parasolstice Parasol unit invites a different artist each year to create a work that explores the phenomenon of light. 

The New Dream Machine Project is part of an evolving body of work that explores the relationship between Beat culture and Middle Eastern artistic traditions, and their legacy today. Dawood’s New Dream Machine Project, a 3-metre-tall spinning steel sculpture, is a reworking of the original Dream Machine created in 1959 by artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville. Best experienced close-up with eyes closed, participants feel an increasingly bright and complex pattern of colour as the pierced steel cylinder spins around tubes of variously coloured light. As the swirling pattern of shapes speeds up, the viewer feels surrounded by colour. The revolutions emit light at a frequency that corresponds to the alpha waves and electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain in a relaxed state, causing visual stimuli that can become a hypnotic experience. Dawood’s New Dream Machine Project, an interactive piece with an imposing physical presence, draws attention to how science, art and mysticism have come together, and the surprising technological innovations that can result.

To enhance and complete the effects of the New Dream Machine Project, Shezad Dawood will stage a live improvised performance event that will form the basis of his new film New Dream Machine Project II. Commissioned by Parasol unit for Parasolstice 2012, New Dream Machine Project II is intended to move the project away from its original location (Tangiers, where the first film was staged), and is the second installment of what is to be a trilogy of films, each mimetically documenting a unique improvised musical performance. Enacting new juxtapositions and interventions through their response to the New Dream Machine Project light sculpture, New Dream Machine Project II will incorporate the experimental music of international duo PRAED.

The New Dream Machine Project was commissioned by the Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2011. Parasolstice is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Related live event:
Saturday 2 February 2013, 6–8pm
Shezad Dawood: PRAED with New Dream Machine Project 
A rare opportunity to witness an improvised music and art event based around Shezad Dawood’s interactive sculpture New Dream Machine Project. Building on the contemporary legacies of Beat culture and Moroccan art, this live performance by PRAED invites the viewer to experience an immersive sensory environment of light and music. The event will form the basis of a new film commissioned by Parasol unit, forming the second in a trilogy of films by Dawood to map the progression of the New Dream Machine Project as it moves into new cultural contexts. PRAED is an improvisational group of musicians spanning Beirut and Paris.

This event is kindly supported by Arts Council England and Delfina Foundation.

Shezad Dawood, born in 1974 in London, trained at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. One of the winners of the 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dawood’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in Altermodern, 2009, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, at Tate Britain, the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009, and the Busan Biennale, 2010. Recent projects include a solo touring exhibition that opened at Modern Art Oxford in April 2012. He currently lives and works in London.


Shezad Dawood at Parasol unit
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
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