Shezad Dawood: Feature - Image

Like much of Dawood’s work Feature engages with mythologies, (in)authenticity, multiple authorship and intercultural interpretations. It was conceived and filmed as a series of performances linked by an overarching narrative of The Battle of Little Big Horn, perhaps the most famous war between the Federal Government and Native Americans. The re-enactment departs from a traditional or revisionist interpretation as it takes on Billy the Krishna (a merging of Billy the Kid and Hinduism’s Lord Krishna), a Valkyrie opera singer and dead cowboys reawakening as zombies. The film deconstructs the Western film genre as it interweaves other fictional and factual characters. The relocation of the battle to a Cambridgeshire landscape further challenges the residual idea of authenticity and creates a new open-ended text that feeds back into a narrative dynamic – that of the process itself.

The performances were written by Dawood with improvisation from collaborators that he invited to take part. They include the artist Jimmie Durham, cast as Sioux Holyman Sitting Bull and David Medalla, cast as Chief Crazy Horse both of whom have dealt with performance issues of cultural colonisation within their own work. It also includes the artist Doug Fishbone, Royal Danish Opera mezzo-soprano Hetna Regitze Bruun, Manchester based artist/musician Mike Chavez-Dawson and Dawood himself. Other casting was sourced through open submission including jockeys from Newmarket racecourse, a Cambridge based Chinese football team and children from the local area.

Image: © Shezad Dawood. Film still from Feature, 2008.
Shezad Dawood: Feature - Image

Event Title: Shezad Dawood: Feature - Image
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