For this iteration of his expansive multimedia project Leviathan exploring the links between climate change, migration and mental health acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood imagines the future of a connected Baltic and Kent shoreline in a new, cutting-edge virtual reality work. This is accompanied by a series of site-responsive collaborations with Estonian scientists, ornithologists, historians, musicians, and artists that respond directly to the ecological, political and historical context of the Paljassaare peninsula situated across from Kai Art Center
The exhibition premieres The Terrarium (2020), a virtual reality experience that takes the viewer 300 years into the future, where 90% of the planets surface has become covered by water. Traversing Baltic ecosystems, viewers meet organisms that have survived or evolved through genetic mutations due to a changed climate.
Above water, visitors will be immersed in the first Estonian recording of Olivier Messiaens Catalogue dOiseaux by Peep Lassmann, a soundscape evocative of the nearby Paljassaare, which has transformed into a bird-watching haven resulting from the evolving military and industrial use of the land. A major new textile work commissioned by Kai Art Center, entitled Coastal Artillery Battery, Paljassaare, (1915) alludes to Paljassaares shifting landscape. It was made in collaboration with Tallinn-based smart-textiles designer Kärt Ojavee and students at the Estonian Academy of Arts, who are pioneering an algae-based dyeing technique with locally sourced marine biomaterial.
A new sculpture by Dawood is in dialogue with research images by biodiversity specialist Dr Kai Künnis-Beres, alongside material contributions by Kärt Ojavee and Triin Loosaar, signalling unexpected entanglements across human and non-human ecologies.
A public programme of site-responsive walks, events, and special screenings will accompany the exhibition, with details and dates to be announced soon on the Kai website.