Nari Ward | American Greetings, 2024


On occasion of his solo exhibition at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Nari Ward has created a special limited-edition artwork entitled American Greetings, 2024, which consists of a redacted greeting card. The wishes that are written inside are impossible to read because they have been blocked out in black ink, erasing all the words. It is as though the message were highly confidential or secret. To make it even more enigmatic, Ward has decided to close it with a security tag, like the ones used on valuable items on sale in shops. This recurring element in the artist’s works – which also appears in the installation Super Stud, 1994/2004, on display in the Navate space – symbolizes the concept of controlling knowledge as a tool of power. In the work part of the exhibition the security tag is fastened to the pages of a rare vintage book, whereas in American Greetings Ward employs irony to highlight the constraints and overreach of censorship and control. He applies these repressive methods to an object typically associated with trivial content, such as birthday wishes.

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acclaimed artist, known for his installations that combine familiar and humble materials into a layering of socio-historical references.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 solo exhibitions have been held in the most prestigious international institutions and he has taken part in important biennials and group exhibitions.

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