Mass migration and climate change – not to mention a giant squid: Leviathan has it all. As his wildly ambitious new work opens in Venice, he reveals the story behind a strange odyssey that will take years to complete

The giant squid, democracy, mental health, migration – big beasts, one and all. And each plays a role in Leviathan, a cycle of 10 films by artist Shezad Dawood that traces links from human activity to marine ecology and back again. The fates of crayfish, phytoplankton and spots on the sun are intertwined with that of the desperate souls crossing the Mediterranean in ill-suited vessels, heading for countries swinging away from liberal democracy.

Leviathan is, as its name suggests, ambitious verging on the unwieldy: Dawood jokes that he and his wife refer to the project simply as LV around the home, to stop him freaking out. As well as the films – to be shot and released over the next three years – there’s a novel, paintings, sculptures and a series of talks and symposia featuring scientists and researchers who have contributed. The first two episodes, as well as a suite of paintings on cloth and a lustrous resin sculpture, will all be shown in Venice alongside this year’s biennale.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change