London-based artist Shezad Dawood works in mediums as varied as painting, installation, and film, and incorporates references to mysticism, structural film, and anthropology, among others. This Modern Mondays event includes the New York premiere of Dawood’s first feature film, Piercing Brightness (2013), which blends color-drenched, kaleidoscopic tableaux and archival footage of extraterrestrial sightings with a loose science-fiction narrative. Having screened in art house theaters and sci-fi festivals alike, the piece had a previous iteration in Trailer (2011), a 15-minute video installation that playfully riffs on the way we consume movies and hold ourselves in galleries. Piercing Brightness was scored by Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple, a Japanese experimental group that has also accompanied the film live. Set in the Northern England town of Preston, which has the most reported UFO sightings in the U.K. and was an early site for the Mormon Church, the film’s exploration of race, migration, and assimilation resonates as strongly as its dizzying, delightful images.
The Museum of Modern Art, Theater 2