Shahryar Nashat's largest solo exhibition in Switzerland to date.

The human body, its perceptions and representations, play a central role in Shahryar Nashat's work. In his videos, sculptures and installations, the artist creates synesthetic experiences that evoke emotions and moods which are difficult to express in rational terms. Nashat shies away from definitive interpretations, exploring themes such as desire, mortality, animal instinct and art itself.

In MASI's underground space, the artist has created a site-specific project that completely alters its atmosphere. The works on display – almost all new – engage with the modified structure of the space, creating a single huge installation that visitors are invited to explore, engaging with contrasting sensations. A musical composition, a symphony of laments, fills the space and accompanies the experience of the show.

The heart of the exhibition is the video work Warnings (2024), screened on a loop on a large wall of screens.

Curated by Francesca Benini.
A project in collaboration with the Istituto Svizzero, Roma | Milano | Palermo.

Shahryar Nashat is a visual artist. He has had solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago (2023), the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (with Bruce Hainley, 2023), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); Swiss Institute, New York (2019); Kunsthalle Basel (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (with Adam Linder, 2016). He shows with Rodeo Gallery, London/Piraeus, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles/New York and Gladstone Gallery, New York/Brussels.

The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition is presented in the form of an instruction manual but opens up into a poetic journey reflecting on human existence and what it means to be an artist. Conceived in collaboration with the graphic designer Sabo Day and the writer Kristian Vistrup Madsen, it features a critical text by Francesca Benini and Gioia Dal Molin and is co-published by MASI Lugano, the Istituto Svizzero in Rome and Lenz Press.

Cover image:
Installation view “Shahryar Nashat. Streams of Spleen” Photo © MASI Lugano, photography Luca Meneghel

Shahryar Nashat. Streams of Spleen - Interview with exhibition curator Francesca Benini

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