Shezad Dawood: Night in the Garden of Love is on view at WIELS, Brussels.
Dawood is known for his exploration of non-Western traditions that inform and intersect with established canons, whether in the field of architecture or, as in this case, music. His playful, research-driven work encompasses many forms and media, breaking down the boundaries between the analog and the digital.
This exhibition is titled after Night in the Garden of Love (1988), a novella written by African-American musician, composer, and polymath Dr. Yusef Lateef (1920-2013). Dawood conceives this exhibition as a dialogue between his practice and Lateef’s, like the call-and-response exchanges in musical improvisation, featuring music and a selection of drawings by Lateef together with five new, interconnected works by Dawood: a VR experience, painted textiles, a garden of algorithmic plants growing digitally in response to a series of live improvisational music sessions, costume-sculptures, and live choreography.
In the new suite of works, Dawood investigates the garden as a site of optimism in the face of the climate crisis. Dawood’s garden takes us into the digital realm, exploring how technology can help us to imagine new forms of togetherness and how art and music can awaken a new spiritual epiphany that can lead to change.
The exhibition runs through August 13th.