Shahryar Nashat


Workbench by Shahryar Nashat was the Swiss artist’s first-ever solo presentation in the UK, presenting a series of sculptural, photographic and video works.

Nashat’s previous work investigated his interest in art collections and reproductions while also exploring questions of appropriation or artistic reuse and display issues. Lighting, plinths, pedestals – they all play a pivotal role in Nashat’s work, using them to highlight how display and reproduction affect meaning.

Many film and photographic works include representations of the body. Figures are often placed on plinths and pedestals that in turn act as extensions of the body as well as a ground for sculpted feet. In a new video work The Rehearsal of Adam Linder (2011), a dancer is filmed during and after rehearsal, the body alternates between being at work and at rest. Through the video, the displaced body can be understood as both a viewer and performer. A series of bench-like sculptures invited the viewer to sit down, to become a part of the artwork. The entire installation was a constellation shifting between what is to be looked at, what is to be performed, and what is to be performed and by who.

Supported by Pro Helvetia and Fatima Maleki.

  1. Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975) is a Swiss artist based in Berlin. Recent solo shows and projects include Line up, Kunstverein Nurnberg (2010); Remains to be seen, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen and Plaque, Kunstverein Potsdam (both 2009); and Because the Ultimate Foundation is Not Founded, Elisabeth Kaufmann, Zurich (2008). Group shows include: Silberkuppe: Old Ideas, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and Silberkuppe: Under One Umbrella, Kunsthal Bergen (both 2010); Shifting Identities, Kunsthaus Zurich and Scorpio’s Garden, Kunsthalle Temporäre, Berlin (both 2009); H Box, Tate Modern, London and Art Unlimited, Art Basel (both 2008); and Swiss Pavilion, Venice Biennial (2005). The artist will participate in Bice Curiger’s ILLUMInations at this year’s International Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

  2. Shahryar Nashat, Workbench, 2011. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artist and Silberkuppe, Berlin. Credit Andy Keate.

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