Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie Stiftung des Vereins der Freunde der Nationalgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst

#73 Shahryar Nashat
Cast in the Same Vein, 2011

Plaster, pigment, steel
62 x 135 x 35 cm
© Shahryar Nashat, Silberkuppe, Berlin

#72 Shahryar Nashat
Plaque (Slab), 2007

Betacam video, 9`40 min
Produced by Hermès
Edition 5/5

Shahryar Nashat
Geboren 1975, Genf, Schweiz
Lebt und arbeitet in Berlin

Shahryar Nashat's work investigates his interest in art collections, reproductions of works of art, as well as questions relating to appropriation and artistic reuse, display issues and apparatus. Lighting, plinths, pedestals, and the mode of positing and projecting all play pivotal roles in Nashat’s video installations, sculptures and photographs and highlights how display and reproduction affect meaning. Cast in the Same Vein (2011) is one of a series of unique sculptural benches that the artist produced for exhibitions in combination with other sculptures and video installations such as his installation 'Factor Green' in the Venice Biennale 2011.

Despite their sculptural character the audience is invited to use them to rest and observe - in doing so they become classical plinths for the general public. The empty plinth 'accompanist' - the companion piece with the works are suggestive of the missing figure they might support. Although this bench appears to be made of an exotic stone it is in fact a sophisticated fake - pigmented plaster veins in blue and orange ape those found in marble. The colors of the veins were chosen especially to reflect the color scheme in the video Plaque (2007).

The notion of ideas and material “taking shape” is integral to Shahryar Nashat’s single-channel video work, Plaque (Slab, 2007). Nashat’s original inspiration for the work was thinking about the freeform conceptual legacy of Canadian musician and composer Glenn Gould (1932-1982). The soundtrack of the video is an excerpt of Gould playing Bach’s “Toccata in C minor”. Stop-action animation of Gould performing works like a visual deconstruction his performance, isolating Gould’s mannerisms and postures like moments in a dance. Absurdly, the soundstage for Gould’s concert featured a number of vertical fake marbled panels-shorthand signifiers of bourgeois culture and grandeur. The droll twist in Nashat’s work is that these fake elements inspired the production of a real concrete slab which his video also documents the making of. The slab is an enigmatic sculptural form which never actually leaves the workshop. As the toccata unfolds, the concrete sets.