Swiss Institute

Shahryar Nashat

20 Mar - 02 Jun 2019

Shahryar Nashat, Keep Begging, 2019. HD video on LED wall. 11 min 10 sec. Original Score by Ethan Braun.
20 March - 2 Jun 2019

Swiss Institute presents Shahryar Nashat’s first institutional exhibition in New York. Entirely comprised of new commissions, the exhibition features a moving image work and a number of sculptures.

The visual temperature of Swiss Institute has been altered. Keep Begging plays on an LED wall. The moving image is tightly focused on the region between the desert of the elbow and the snug of an armpit. And yet, the work has an operatic range, moving through periods of depressed stasis and into ecstasies of facility and movement. This narrowly defined area of a body is curiously scanned, appraised, analyzed, and as this happens, categories suggest themselves. This body is most abstract when it appears most utilitarian - virtuosic, weaponized, animal.

“Do we go to war?”

Sculptures have had their intrinsic values exposed, revealing their inconsistency. Start To Beg is a seven-foot-long object, which bears marks of bites and scratches, breaks and bruises. Others are bandaged, wrapped or require something of you. A series of raw meat sculptures – Bone In – are dressed with pick-up lines:

“This could be us, but you’re playin.”

In fact, Nashat’s exhibition includes a number of things that could be us, might be us. Corporeal details across various media encourage questions about how far bodies and minds can be distilled into abstraction: how far can they be bent into the shapes of other things before they break? Do only the shapeshifters survive?

Shahryar Nashat’s exhibition was created in partnership with SMK / National Gallery of Art Denmark, where it will travel in August 2019.

This exhibition is made possible in part through the support of The Fonds Cantonal d'Art Contemporain, Genève. SI gratefully acknowledges the support of the Shahryar Nashat Exhibition Circle: Artemis Baltoyanni, Lewis Baskerville, Simone Battisti, Christine Bernstein, David Kordansky Gallery, Rodeo, and those who wish to remain anonymous. Special thanks to Joni Sighvatsson, Natalie Hill, Riley O'Neill, and Cooper Jacoby.

About Shahryar Nashat

Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include: The Cold Horizontals, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2018); Model Malady, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); Hard Up For Support, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany (2016); and Workbench, Studio Voltaire, London, England (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2018); Myths of the Marble, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA (2017); Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2016); Le Grand Balcon, La Biennale de Montréal, Canada (2016); 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2016); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); 8th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2014); and ILLUMInations, 54th International Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy (2011).

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