Naima Morelli

Archive
Essay

Three weeks ago, I met with my friend Rod in Naples and we decided to give up our egos.
He was coming from Rome by train, I was coming from Sorrento by train also and I was very late, since the boats going across the gulf were cancelled.

That was the first time I saw Rod after the lockdown happened in March. Last time we met, we were conjuring up a show in Venice for a leading Indonesian artist, together with another great Asia-expert curator. We were thrilled, and Rod in particular was juggling the excitement for a new curatorial adventure, with the alertness for the new Covid restriction on his workplace, and finally the realization that he had to work on expressing more his emotions.

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The webmagazine Al-Monitor has just published my article on the exhibition “Art in the Age of Anxiety” at the Sharjah Art Foundation.

The exhibition (now postponed) looked at online technology and communications feeding existential angst. It seems more relevant than ever today amid the global fears due to the coronavirus outbreak and the extensive information available.

Here is the link to the article

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The exhibition at Palestinian Museum “Glimmer of a Grove Beyond” aims to outline the links between landscape representations and historical circumstances, through the medium of political posters.

Such posters came to prominence in Palestine between the mid-1960s and late-1980s as a means of motivating and mobilising political support in the national movement and revolution, and its armed struggle.

Here is the link to the article

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The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my interview with Ethiopian artist Aida Muluneh, an artist whose work I deeply admire.

Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aïda Muluneh left the country at a young age. Her global upbringing helped her to develop a multiplicity of viewpoints. Inspired by Ethiopia, she transcends it, making her subjects universal metaphors.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Australian webmagazine Artshub has just published my new piece titled “Why Singapore is the new gateway for the Southeast Asian art scene”

I had a steady collaboration with this amazing platform in the past, which started when I was actually living in Melbourne and carried on throughout the different changes of base.

It was interesting to connect my three years of research on the Singapore contemporary art scene with what I could appreciate last month during the Singapore Art Week.

Of course, my piece is very positive because it’s no mystery that I love Singapore and I have a lot of faith in the way things are developing there.

Here is the link to the article

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How to talk about spiritual matters in a highly secularised, hyper-pragmatic society? This was the question artists exhibiting in the show “Pneuma: Of Spirituality in Contemporary Age” at the Stamford Art Centre in Singapore grappled with during the 2020 Singapore Art Week.

The webmagazine Qantara has just published my piece on the show.

Here is the link to the piece

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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 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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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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4emergingbattambang

The contemporary art scene in Cambodia is still very young and in the making. Distinctive stylistic trends and artistic fervour are emerging in the three major cities, creating elements for a dialogue to come.

For those looking for true solace as well as engaging conversations with artists, Battambang is definitely the place to go. Here time slows down. Artistic practice largely takes a meditative slant, and are more often than not, based on considerably traditional mediums.

I have look at the four more interesting emerging artists hailing from this Cambodian city for CoBo.

Here is the link to the article

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sum1

These days I’m filled with love for the world.

Summer leaves are lighten up by the sun and look like emeralds. They have this love effect. Happy movement and endorphins have this love effect. So has making new friends. Rediscovering the old ones. By whatever means connection with what’s around me happens, that’s where the gold is. Noticing the beauty all around me.

These days, every time I go “off-track”, I “derail”, there is a sentence that pops always in my mind, sorting things out. The words are: “You think you have many different problems, but you only have one: your disconnection for Love (from Life, from God, from Source, from the Nature of Existence, whatever you want to call it.)

This happens to us when we are in pain, of course. But in pain — especially in pain — there is labour of love to do. We are called to action. And when I remember this words, I have a choice. Knowing that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional, I can either stay in the self-made hell, in the suffering — whether psychological or physical — or work towards mending the wounds.

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writing1
It’s a long time I don’t press pause from the journalistic mode for a moment, to share some parts of my life as an arts and culture writer. I decided to do it today, to spell out the cardinal points that drive my writing today. Spelling them out for myself in the first place, of course, so I can embrace them with more awareness.

I must start by saying that, as writers, we might take our work lightly, but holding a pen is like holding a sword (or a bo staff to pick my weapon of choice.) That’s why I have decided to always make my best to be impeccable with my words, using this power for good. Some of these ethics I took to balance out my original spirit, which is quite combative, in a way which gives me strength and passion, but can easily get out of hand.

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