Robert Pattinson Just Inadvertently Inspired an Art Exhibition

Photo of Robert Pattinson by Shahryar Nashat. All images courtesy of Shahryar Nashat, Bruce Hainley, and The Renaissance Society. 

A chance encounter with Robert Pattinson has been known to trigger many reactions, including vampiric lust, fainting spells, and bored shrugs. For Geneva-born artist Shahryar Nashat and Houston-based writer Bruce Hainley, it provoked a different response. The actor became the fulcrum of the pair's new exhibition at the Renaissance Society in Chicago. Nashat, who has a solo show, "Raw Is the Red," on view at the Art Institute of Chicago until Sept. 11, invited Hainley to collaborate on and curate a disruptive and untitled exhibition based on the encounter. Featuring works by Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), Karen Kilimnik, Larry Johnson, and Marie Laurencin alongside live-stream feeds and TikTok compilations, the show asks "how bodies, whether living currency or undead, circulate, distort, unalive, and, yet, love." To mark the show's opening last Friday, CULTURED called up Nashat and Hainley to talk "gore capitalism," messing with art world communication norms, and living in haunted times. 

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