chapter
3 Pages

Nari Ward

I believe that objects activate space through their physical presence as well as cultural

references. Both of these states are malleable and susceptible to change over time but

what that change evolves into is the subject. I chose certain materials because they are

everyday objects slipping away through decay and/or neglect yet have a history that seems

Ward’s materials convey meaning on several registers simultaneously, through a combination of

their individual identities and the associations sparked by his evocative juxtapositions. Ward’s

strategies of retrieval and recovery place him in a lineage with modern art’s many accomplished

scavengers, from Kurt Schwitters to Robert Rauschenberg. David Hammons’s appropriation

of readymade objects to interrogate race and cultural hierarchies is an especially compelling

precedent to Ward’s practice. However, this mode of art-making holds additional personal

significance to Ward. He has related it to the common salvaging practices in his native Jamaica,

where reusing and living with found objects is an everyday occurrence.