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Nari Ward

Geography: Bottle Messenger | Collection Mudam

Acquired by Mudam Luxembourg in 2003 and presented in the museum’s inaugural exhibition Eldorado (2006), Geography: Bottle Messenger (2002) by Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica) is one of the Mudam Collection’s emblematic installations. Mudam’s Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Pavilion provides the ideal showcase in which to present this monumental work.

Nari Ward is interested in cultures and in the aura they confer on everyday objects. Ward reclaims these objects, accumulating them to create installations with a shamanistic power. Geography: Bottle Messenger takes the form of a cascade of glass bottles containing a collection of hermetic messages, obsessively written in the vain hope of communicating, as if written by someone shipwrecked on a desert island. Steeped in his own multicultural experience, Ward juggles with materials as he does with traditions and references. He poses as a storyteller of accumulated memories, evoking African bottle trees designed to ward off evil spirits, along with the art of Gothic stained-glass windows.

Artist biography
Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew, Jamaica) has recently held solo exhibitions at New Museum, New York (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2016); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2015) and LSU Museum of Art, Baton Rouge (2014). His work was presented within the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006) and documenta 11, Kassel (2003) and in group exhibitions at Museo del Barrio, New York (2017); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015); Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2015) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015). He was awarded various prizes, including the Joyce Award in 2015 and the Rome Prize awarded by the American Academy of Rome in 2012. Nari Ward lives and works in New York.