Exhibition Current – NAVATE

28 March - 28 July 2024

Nari Ward

Ground Break

Curated by Roberta Tenconi with Lucia Aspesi

Admission to the exhibition is free and online reservation guarantees priority access in the selected time slot. Members have priority access even without reservation.

Nari Ward (St. Andrew, Jamaica, 1963; lives and works in New York ) is an internationally acclaimed artist, known for his installations that combine familiar and humble materials into a layering of socio-historical references. By repurposing a wide range of found ob­jects, each with its own unique history, his art engages with memory and transformation, opening up new possibilities. Nari Ward’s interweaving and juxtaposition of discarded elements alludes to various social and politi­cal aspects and addresses notions of identi­ty, race, social justice, and consumer culture, creating poignant artworks that entwine both spiritual and conceptual responses. His intentional use of everyday materials, rem­nants of past practices, places, communities, and epochs, allows the viewer to connect di­rectly with the works while keeping the nar­rative open to contemporary, urgent themes.

The retrospective at Pirelli HangarBicocca presents, for the first time, a com­bination of works that interweaves Ward’s exploration of performativity and collaborative projects. With a particular focus on time-based media works, in­cluding video, sound, performative sculptures, and installations, the exhibition delves into over thirty years of practice, presenting early seminal and historical works as well as new productions. The narrative unfolds through the seminal large-scale installations, originally realized by Ward between 1996 and 2000 for Ralph Lemon’s choreography Geography Trilogy, presented here in an ex­hibition setting for the first time since then. The three works will create a new choreography together with other sculptures, videos, installations, and the bodies of the visitors. The notion of performativity animates the exhibition it­self, which will be marked by a program of live collaborative actions running throughout the show.

The exhibition will be complemented by a monographic volume presenting the most recent studies on Nari Ward’s practice, exploring aspects of performa­tivity, sound and time-based practices that have emerged from collaborative exchanges in the artist’s work. The book will include essays and thematic contri­butions by international scholars and critics, including Naomi Beckwith, Jessica Bell Brown, Adrienne Edwards, Dieter Roelstraete, and Christina Sharpe.

Calendar of performances Groundings for Ground Break, 2024
27 March / 7.30 PM: Water Spirits by Justin Randolph Thompson, Andre Halyard, Jermay Michael Gabriel
13 April / 3.30, 5 PM: Attack the Distortions by Justin Randolph Thompson, Andre Halyard, Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù
14 April, 5 May / 3.30, 5 PM: Attack the Distortions by Justin Randolph Thompson, Andre Halyard, Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù
21 April / 3.30, 5 PM: Water Spirits by Justin Randolph Thompson, Andre Halyard, SADI
19 May, 9 June, 7 July / 3.30, 5 OM: A Drop in the Bucket by Justin Randolph Thompson
Between the performances, Groundings/Soundings by Justin Randolph Thompson in collaboration with SADI will be played.

Several international institutions hosted his solo shows, such as Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2022); New Museum, New York (2019, 1993); Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (2019); The Aldrich Contem­porary Art Museum, Ridgefield (2019-2020); deCordova Sculp­ture Park and Museum, Lincoln (2018-2019); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2016); Pérez Art Museum Miami, Scad Museum of Art, Savannah (2015); LSU Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2014-2015); Chateau de Blandy-Les-Tours, France (2013); Mass MoCa, Massachu­setts (2011-2012); Contemporary Art Galleries at the Universi­ty of Connecticut (2007); Palazzo delle Papesse – Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena (2006); GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2001); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001, 2000); Magasin, Grenoble (1994).
His works have been also present­ed in numerous international biennale, such as Sharjah Biennial (2023, 2005); Whitney Biennial (2006, 1995); Taipei Biennale (2006); documenta, Kassel (2002); Venice Biennale (1993). He received numerous awards, including Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts, New York (2017); Joyce Award, The Joyce Foundation, Chi­cago (2015); Nadine Carter Russell Chair, LSU College of Art + Design, Louisiana (2013); Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome (2012).


Technical sponsor for the realization of the work Ground Break, 2024

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