Shahryar Nashat’s new video is a composite portrait of the 21st-century body—a synthetic form whose sensuality is mediated by substances both organic and fabricated: clothes, prosthetic technologies, pharmaceuticals, and money. Recalling Marcel Broodthaers’s ongoing inquiry into the use of the term “figure” (which Broodthaers would simply abbreviate to the indexical “fig.”), Present Sore combines rapid editing techniques, a discordant soundtrack composed of myriad digitized sources, and a video presented in 9:16 format—the now ubiquitous portrait format for all handheld devices. (2016, video, 9 minutes)
Artist Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975) makes sculptures, installations, and videos that examine ways the human body interacts with and is represented through material culture. Using stand-in figures, prosthetic technologies, and appropriated objects, he seeks to expose the dependencies of the contemporary body. Nashat’s work has been included in the Venice Biennale (2005, 2011) and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), and has been exhibited at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthaus Zurich; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tate Modern and Frieze Projects, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Art Unlimited, Basel.