September 21 – December 1, 2019

The latest installment of Dawood’s episodic video series, Leviathan Cycle, takes it cues from globalization, international trade, and the legal structures of maritime law set against the rights of the individual. Leviathan Cycle continues to grow each time it is exhibited, creating a dystopic future that is uncannily similar to the present day. For the Toronto Biennial, Episode 5 is presented within a customised Newfoundland cod trap from the 1970s (before the moratorium on cod was introduced), and sits alongside a series of new textile-based paintings created in collaboration with artisans from Fogo Island using traditional craft techniques.

Co-commissioned by Fogo Island Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada, A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam), and the Toronto Biennial of Art, and made possible with the generous support of the British Council. Leviathan, a related exhibition of Dawood’s work, is currently on view at MOCA, Sept 19–Nov 3. For more information, please visit


Shezad Dawood (born and lives in London, UK) uses research and collaboration to inform his interdisciplinary work. His key concerns with marine ecology and the ethics of place recur across different projects including Leviathan (2017–): a multi-media work and public program. Both open-source resource and artwork, Leviathan is informed by biologists, oceanographers, and anthropologists to address climate change, migration, and mental health. Dawood’s works have won awards at biennials and film festivals, and his work features in collections including: LACMA, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and British Museum, London.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7