Naima Morelli

Archive
Interview
Whirling on site at Beit Beirut [Zena el Khalil]

In my research on contemporary art I started to focus a lot on the spiritual values that artists carry with them and let come through their artworks and practice – despite the many hardships they might be facing.

In this sense, the life experience of Zena El-Khalil, a wonderful artist I had the pleasure to interview for Middle East Monitor, is emblematic. We talk specifically of her way of coping with the terrible explosion that has devastated Beirut, and the way art and her spiritual practice have helped her to look for the spring to come.

Kicking off the new season of articles with this interview makes me really proud, warms my heart and encourages me to look at the struggles in life with a different perspective. Hope it will do the same for you:

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For multimedia artist Steve Sabella, these hard times require us to access the potential of our imagination in order to conjure up our collective future. His works of art reflecting the hardships of the Palestinians become universal metaphors for global rebirth.

My interview with Berlin-based Palestinian artist Steve Sabella has just been published on Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview

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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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From dirty riverbanks to the shores of Venice, Yogyakarta-based artist Handiwirman Saputra tells us the story of our objects.

My interview to Handiwirman has just been published on CoBo Social.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. “

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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.

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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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