Naima Morelli

I had the privilege to write the curatorial essay for the catalog of Neapolitan artist Sergio Fermariello’s new show “Warriors” opening tomorrow, 7 February, at Richard Koh Fine Art in Singapore. The piece is titled: “Hitting God’s Head with a Hammer Until It Breaks” – a poignant metaphor courtesy of genius Fermariello himself.

As a side note, when I first started working with the art scene in Southeast Asia, back in 2012, I could only hope more and more ties would create between my native Italy and that part of the world.

It has been incredible to see how these exchanges unfolded, and even more beautiful to see Italian artists experiencing the Southeast Asian art world, that has been so open and kind to me.

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The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my interview with Tours-based Algerian artist Massinissa Selmani.

The artist has just wrapped up his latest solo show, “Le calme de l’idée fixe”, at the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré in Tours. In the show, visitors can admire different series of drawings, where political and historical innuendos meet an interest in architecture and landscape.

Here is the link to the article

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The Italian magazine Internazionale has translated and published my article on artists reflection on the responsibilities of Italian colonialism in Libya.

I originally wrote the article for Middle East Eye. It features interviews with filmaker and writer Khalifa Abo Khraisse, artist and videomaker Martina Melilli and multimedia artist Leone Contini.

Here is the pdf version of the piece

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At the beginning of 2019 I realized one of my yearly reportages on contemporary art in Thailand. Among the most interesting artists I have interviewed is Tawatchai Puntusawasdi; our conversation has just been published on CoBo.

Here is the link to the interview

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One of my favourite traditions for December is to do the year in review. This 2019 I hardly published introspective essays in this space, which is actually good, meaning the work took over.

Now time’s up to stop and share my self-reflections, acknowledge the achievements, learning from the mistakes, and generally look back in gratitude to the people, the places and the experiences. .

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CoBo has just published my interview with Maline Yim, which I realized some time ago during my Cambodia reportage, adding some reflections based on “The Shadow of Change,” her solo exhibition earlier this year at Richard Koh Fine Art in Singapore.

“Yim lives in a house surrounded by a garden, which the artist personally tends to. The flower and plants are protected from the outside by a wall, representing a boundary that likewise allows safety for a life shaped by her gift for art-making. Here, Yim can be the nurturer—of her plants, her family and her art practice. “

Here is the link to the interview

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One of the most relevant Malaysian artists of her generation, Yogyakarta-based Nadiah Bamadhaj uses sculpture, drawing, collage and video to challenge the restrictive societal norms in Southeast Asian countries and explore body politics.

I have interviewed her for the webmagazine Qantara

Here is the link to the interview

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At the beginning of the year I have realized a reportage on Thai contemporary art. The webmagazine CoBo Social has just published my interview with artist Noraset Vaisayakul.

Here is the link to the interview

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My article on Italian colonialism in Libya has just been published by Middle East Eye. The piece explores how filmmakers and artists are exploring a largely neglected history of Italy’s presence in Libya in the 20th century.

It took me some three months to get all the voices together and get a clear picture of history. Thought I’m taking the art lens, this artist and country and type of research is a bit outside my comfort zone, so I was tempted to stop at what I had a few times.

It took a very determined editor to allow me to go all the way down with it. Like all the difficult things in life, this allowed me to bring my understanding and writing to a new level.

Here is the link to the piece

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My research on Morocco and its contemporary art scene continues on the webmagazine Middle East Monitor. This time I take a look at an extraordinary Biennale in the Moroccan city of Rabat.

I have interview Rabat Biennal’s curator, the French-Algerian philosopher, art historian and museum director Abdelkader Damani, who has set his mind to change the old ways to rewrite the rules of the art game.

Here is the link to the interview

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For my second collaboration with the magazine Qantara I have interviewed Indonesian writer Feby indirani. I loved her book “Not Virgin Mary”, which has been recently translated in Italian by Prof. Antonia Soriente and published by Add Editore. The book provided a light-hearted and almost zen perspective on Islam in Indonesia.

I met Feby in Rome during her European book tour. I have found out she is not only an excellent writer but also a lovely person; we had a wonderful conversation.

Here is the link to the interview

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The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my review of the excellent theater play “Libya. Back Home” by Paola Di Mitri, with texts by Miriam Selima Fieno, Giancarlo Fieno and Khalifa Abo Khraisse. It was presented last week at the Romaeuropa Festival.

I’m starting researching a bit Italian colonialism in North Africa, and in Libya in particular, so it was extremely interesting to see this artistic re-elaboration who tackles this subjects, among many important others.

Here is the link to the review

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