Leviathan is an ambitious ten-part film cycle conceived and directed by Shezad Dawood inaugurated in Venice in May 2017 to coincide with the 57th Art Biennale, looking at some of the urgent issues of our times.

In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, Leviathan envisages a future very much like our present to consider possible links between borders, mental health and marine welfare. Each episode is taken from the point of view of a different character and their journey.

The project also contains a dynamic series of textiles, sculptures and neons, collectively imagining a world where the fault lines between marine welfare, mental health and migration are not fully understood or responded to.

Following Venice, further episodes and iterations are now planned over a four-year period, with a final presentation at the end of 2021. Touring venues include MOSTYN, Wales (UK), Barakat Contemporary, Seoul (Korea), The Atlantic Project (UK), HE.RO, Amsterdam (NL), A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam (NL), Bluecoat, Liverpool (UK), MOCA, Toronto and Toronto Biennial (Canada), CCA Tel Aviv (Israel), La Panacée, Montpellier (F).

Further details about upcoming exhibitions, screenings and events can be found below. Further details about past presentations can be found here.


on now

19 September – 3 November 2019
MOCA, Toronto & Toronto Biennial of Art, Canada


CCA Tel Aviv, Israel
La Panacée, Montpellier, France

Public Programme

Through a dynamic Public Programme, Leviathan brings together specialists from the fields of marine welfare, migration and mental health that the artist has been in dialogue with to inform the project. These curated events and conversations anchor the project in the present challenges that we face as a global community.

Recordings of all conversations can be found here Research papers commissioned and published by Leviathan can be found here.

Institutional Partners

Supporting Partners

special thanks

Taimur Hassan

The Ekard Collection
Theodore & Maria Fatsis
Sejal Firodia, The White Canvas, Pune, India
The Roden Collection
Nadia von Christierson
Sylvain & Karen Levy
Brown Family Collection
Pippa Hornby

Jason Zeloof
Donors who wish to remain anonymous


artist & director

Shezad Dawood

art direction & design

OK-RM, London

curatorial management & development

Inês Geraldes Cardoso

partnerships & vr producer

Miranda Sharp

production manager

Laurie Storey

film producer

Elizabeth Benjamin


+44 (0) 203 914 0590