Opening: 22.04.2016, 20h

Portikus is pleased to present Model Malady, an exhibition by Swiss artist Shahryar Nashat (*1975, lives and works in Berlin). Within his artistic practice, the artist uses means and ways to steer or interrupt the contemplative gaze, thereby directing the focus on the unheeded, the unsolicited. To achieve this, the artist resorts to various media such as video, photography and sculpture.

The core of his upcoming exhibition Model Malady at Portikus is composed of two new works: Present Sore (2016) and Chômage Technique (2016).

Present Sore is a video work, a composite portrait of the 21st-century body mediated by substances both organic and fabricated. Commissioned by Portikus and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, it is temporarily streamed on the Walker Online Channel, and will now be presented as an installation in Frankfurt. In Present Sore, we see the human body not as a whole, but only in detail—like a close-up of the knee or the hand. The focus is on fragments, showing the mechanical moving “parts” of the body and isolating their function as tools.

Chômage Technique is a new group of sculptures that Nashat created for Portikus and the forthcoming Walker exhibition. Consisting of plinths resting on lounging display structures that the artist says are designed for them to “relax”, those obsolete pedestals have no artwork or body to support anymore. They become like laid-off workers, with complimentary front row seating for Present Sore, so that they can enjoy watching the video and its digital depiction of the bodies they would once have supported.

In this new interview, Walker Bentson Moving Image Scholar Isla Leaver-Yap and Portikus curator Fabian Schöneich ask Nashat what drives his work—the politics of the body, its digital and physical augmentations, and its obsolescence. To the interview

The exhibition is supported by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.