Friday, March 22, 2019


Nari Ward dedicates his career to discovering and examining the history of slavery. He tries to use his innovative creation to connect the tragic events in the past with current life, showing how those memories in history embedded in modern America. One of his most recent work,  “Spellbound” is a great example. Decorated with hundreds of keys, the piano is not a simple piece of instrument anymore. It has been turned into a book without words, carrying stories and historical events happened in inaccessible or disused places that have been forgotten. Nari Ward added a short film on the back of this impressive object to reveal those hidden stories. The film focuses on presenting people and places in the African-American community in Savannah from cultural aspects. Nari offers us the key to touch the deeply buried memories that we should not forget, making "Spellbound" the most moving piece for in the exhibition. I heard people saying that this is a piano you don't know which key is the right key to play in.


  1. I agree with your interpretation of Nari Ward’s “Spellbound” piece as the elements that are carrying the historical truths and stories from an inaccessible place. Moreover, his work is based on evoking the complex meaning of the cultural and social issues by transforming the discarded elements into the new purposed objects as an artwork. Moreover, the interesting point is that he tries to put those complicated and severe issues into his work, but at the same time, he openly lets the viewer interpret his work as their way. For the recommendation, I suggest a little bit of changing the last sentence of the review. The content of the last sentence would be an excellent conclusion to relate how Nari used the elements of keys into his artworks, but now I feel it is a little bit unorganized in a point that you mentioned about heard what other people are saying.

  2. Your review does a good job of capturing the feel of the piece "Spellbound" but I would argue that Nari Ward's work provides a more expansive view of the Black American experience than just slavery. Although slavery plays into many of the topics expressed in Ward's work, pieces such as Spellbound also address many more layers of history, black culture and resilience against oppression.
    To improve your review, I would also suggest giving more context to this piece within the exhibition as a whole. Additionally, you say Ward is offering "us" the key to "deeply buried memories," but this phrasing is a bit unclear. Is this piece meant to evoke the same memories in everyone and are these memories even deeply buried?