Shahryar Nashat — Lauréat du Prix Lafayette 2013



Shahryar Nashat
Lauréat du Prix Lafayette 2013

Past: October 20 → November 23, 2014

The work of Shahryar Nashat (born in 1975, lives and works in Berlin) is made up of fragments in which elements of baroque, humor, sensuality and insolence are interwoven.His installations, which give prominence to video, incorporatephotography, sculpture and furniture while often questioning the magnetism of the art object, bringing into play equivalences between objects and bodies. Their presence in a space is always, for the artist, a subject of surprise, fascination and desire: an acrobat standing on one hand in the Rubens Hall of the Louvre, men’s perfume tester bottles in a department store, or cement poured into a gigantic slab in a factory in Berlin and refined by a worker who could be a Glenn Gould look-alike. The artist voluntarily enters into an intimate relationship with the art object, sometimes using the work of other artists. One video shows technicians in white gloves from the Kunstmuseum Basel moving a statue, a bronze cyclist by Karl Geiser. The camera frames the involuntarily sensual movements of their hands. For the last few years, Shahryar Nashat has been using generic forms, green cubes and polygons that symbolize the totemic power of art in its relationship to the exhibition space and to performance. In the scenography he created for Parade — a reinterpretation by the choreographer Adam Lindner of Jean Cocteau’s ballet of 1917 with music by Erik Satie—, and in the ensuing film, he explores with humor the relationship between body postures and the invasive presence of the object. For the exhibition of the 2013 Lafayette Prize laureate at the Palais de Tokyo, Shahryar Nashat proposes a spatial arrangement around his film Hustle in Hand (2014) in which we observe secret negotiations carried out between two characters, only their torsos visible in the frame. Money, food, appearances, consumption: the viewer is pulled into a round of transactions, like a rumination on our society in which art occupies a coveted position. The film’s rhythm is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a green polyhedron that, once licked by one of the mysterious protagonists, becomes golden yellow, a magical event accompanied by an intense swelling of violin music. As is often the case in Shahryar Neshat’s videos, the music, soundtrack and speech takethe viewer by surprise. Presented in a glass museum display case near a Warhol camouflage painting, the object begins to speak in a voice-over, demanding to be the exclusive center of attention and manifesting its satisfaction by a forced and arrogant laugh. Another scene in the film presents a man showing a scratch on his arm. The wound, the vulnerable body and testing desire with disgust are recurrent themes in Shahryar Nashat’s work. Three videos (Todd’s Injury, Delphine’s Injury and Joseph’s Injury, 2013) show still more wounds, those of dancers whose bruises are often the price paid for gracefulness. Hustle in Hand seems disrupted by subliminal images that disturb viewing and challenge our consented credulousness, our necessary candor while suggesting a parallel narrative only picked up by our subconscious. The installation space, with several glass and marble sculptures, presents a multitude of visions amid which the gaze shifts, giving our imagination over to these measured, odd and agitated ambivalences.

16 Trocadéro Zoom in 16 Trocadéro Zoom out

13, av. du Président Wilson

75016 Paris

T. 01 81 97 35 88

Alma – Marceau

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, noon – midnight
Closed on tuesday

Admission fee

Full rate €12.00 — Concessions €9.00

Free admission under 18 years-old, job seekers, those in receipt of income support…

The artist

  • Shahryar Nashat