Notions of monumentality are revisited in numerous works by Nashat, including the video Plaque (Slab) (2007), which takes as its point of departure archival footage of the celebrated Canadian classical musician Glenn Gould. In it, Gould is playing the piano on a television soundstage. Behind Gould and his piano are three monolithic slabs seemingly made out of marble. Much of Nashat's !lm documents the production of a large concrete slab, highly reminiscent of the ones in Gould's television performance, in a factory out in the Berlin suburbs. "is footage is interspersed with the archival footage of Gould, which has been modi!ed to resemble more of a stop-motion animation. "is locational "split" in the focus of the film creates a kind of game for the viewer, both in determining the actual subject of the video and in reading what exactly is happening in the imagined fissure between these two settings, which almost mirror one another in their virtuosity—skilled manual work and creative endeavor converging, both politely encouraged to echo the performance of the other.
Nav Haq in Highlights: Shahryar Nashat - Almost Mirroring
Kaleidoscope, Fall 2010