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Shahryar Nashat Keep Begging

Edited by Simon Castets and Laura McLean-Ferris
Texts by Negar Azimi, Jordan Carter, Elena Filipovic, Huw Lemmey, Adam Linder,
Laura McLean-Ferris, Aram Moshayedi, Hamza Walker
Published with Swiss Institute, New York and Kunsthalle Basel

Hardcover. 260 pages. 20.5 x 28.5 cm
ISBN: 979-12-80579-05-8

Bodies function, fight, and fail. People bear witness to these processes every day, actively and passively, in the flesh and on-screen. But bodies are also unruly: they desire and shapeshift and betray. This oscillation between the realities of mortal progression and everything that transpires in those indeterminate zones serves as the basis for Swiss artist Shahryar Nashat’s visceral, future-facing practice. What Nashat presents to us, the viewer, are depictions of humanness, of aliveness, filtered through ways of seeing that may have not yet arrived. There are hypotheticals at play, although the sensations generated in Nashat’s sculptures and videos point toward primal expressions of desire and survival.

This monograph ventures to articulate the new shapes and sentiments that spill out from Nashat’s artistic output of the last eight years. The book is co-published by Kunsthalle Basel and Swiss Institute, where Nashat had solo exhibitions. But, while the two exhibitions are the occasion for publishing this book, the contents here far surpass them: twelve of Nashat’s works made between 2012 and 2020 are examined across six essays and one conversation, each of which forges a new reading of what is at stake in the artist’s oeuvre. For Nashat, in spite of the endless questions they raise, bodies have answers.

The artist

Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include: Force Life, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); Swiss Institute, New York (2019); Start Begging, SMK, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2019); The Cold Horizontals, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2018); Model Malady, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); Hard Up For Support, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); and Workbench, Studio Voltaire, London (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Honestly Speaking: The Word The Body and The Internet, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2020); Maskulinitäten, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2019); Searching the Sky for Rain, SculptureCenter, New York (2019); Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Myths of the Marble, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2017); Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2016); Le Grand Balcon, La Biennale de Montréal, Canada (2016); 20th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2016); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); and ILLUMInations, 54th International Venice Biennial (2011).