Naima Morelli

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Tag "art"

6
These days life is white-hot, red-hot, glowing, incandescent. This excitement runs all over my body and my mind. It nourishes my spirit. Sometime I feel like those sparkling sticks kids hold in their hands on the first of the year. I feel empowered and harmonious. When I lose balance, I’m able to catch myself and correct course; if I happen to linger there, I try to deal with it with a stoic attitude, meaning, why let yourself be bother by something you can’t change? Or else, I try to convert the energy of rage or indignation into good energy, in the form of animated talks or laughs with friends.

This good energy runs through me while I’m heading towards the coffee shops I work at every morning. This is what was Tiffany for Holly Golightly; except that here they serve real breakfasts. I’m so revitalized getting out of the house in the fresh morning here, coasting the Aurealian walls, walking down the sunlit market of the working-class neighbourhood of Via Del Pigneto, watching kids from many different ethnicities going to school. The hurried or cheerful attitude of the mothers reminds me to the one of my own mother. I recall how was it to go to that terrible and yet so fundamental place which was school. And yet, schoolkids remind me how important is to feel to be on a learning path, and having buddies to share that experience with. I treasure that sensation that I experience elsewhere, walk in the coffee shop, order a cappuccino, and sit to do my work, an independent, solitary but beautiful adventure. Something that I have proudly built from scratches.

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5emergingindoartists
Every time a new article of mine gets published, I’m always so happy and grateful to have a job that allows me to make great discoveries and dwell on great art. That was certainly the case with this piece: “Five Emerging Indonesian Artists”, which has just been published on the webmagazine CoBo.

But of course, nothing comes without challenges. It wasn’t easy to limit myself to just five artists (or collectives, or duos), and of course I  wanted to go beyond the most obvious names that would tick the “emerging” box. On top of that, I tried to get a good ratio of women artists, that often don’t get enough press for a number of reason (I talk about that in another piece) – and yet they create amazing work. So here my version of the top five emerging Indonesian artists! Let me know what do you think, I’m happy to expand on this list in the future!

Here’s the link to the piece
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artshub14

Lovers, friends and family have always been the favourite source of inspiration for artists since the beginning of times. Of course, these involuntary muses are not always happy of being turned into characters of a story, or having their portrait on a gallery wall. This especially if the art deals with intimate, personal and potentially embarrassing themes.

Back in the day the artist could hope the subject matter was unaware of being included in the work. Today though it’s virtually impossible. An image or a review can be infinitely shared on social media. At the same time gallery access is not just for the elites anymore.

I this piece, which has just been published on ArtsHub, I discuss the ethics of including other people’s life in art with artist Geraldine Kang and writer Michele Lee.

Here’s the link to the piece

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pascal_martin_tajou
This is a public service announcement (with guitar! As the Clash would say); I’m working on a new book. It will revolve around my research on contemporary art in Singapore and will explore some concepts I started looking at in my previous book, Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione.

Of course, having a second “baby” might look easier if you already had that kind of experience. But a second book comes with its new challenges. On top of that, I also had an aborted book which still is very much a looming presence. (Should we stop once and for all with these stupid baby metaphors when talking about book projects?)

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memoclandintergration

British webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my article on Clandestine Integration. This project aims to foster dialogue between the African and the European shores of the Mediterranean by inviting artists to share a period on a sailing boat and creating original work on board.

Here’s the link to the article

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raven3
The Australian webmagazine RAVEN has just published my interview with Melbourne artist Sam Leach. I met Sam at Palazzo Bembo, in Venice, and we talked about the artist’s work in Personal Structures, a collateral exhibition to the Venice Biennale.

Here’s the link to the article

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memograffititunis
British webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my interview with Italian researcher Luce Lacquaniti, author of the upcoming book “I Muri di Tunisi: Segni di Rivolta” (The Walls of Tunis: Signs of Revolt). I walked away from interviewing Luce inspired and excited – she is extremely knowledgeable and passionate with her subject matter. Plus her research has all the elements that I’ve always loved – the people, the art and the revolution. I really can’t wait for her book to come out!

Here’s the link to the interview

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RZR014
Some time ago a friend of mine – Bietolone we will call him – told me that he was waiting at the clinic of venereal diseases in London (a banal candida, he quickly added). In the waiting room a tall slim bombshell from Russia struck up a conversation. She said she was sick of London and she wanted to move elsewhere. Like, in that very moment. She explained she was a sculptor, and England was no place to live for an artist anymore. When he heard that Bietolone gulped. He notoriously had a soft spot for artists. He would have already asked her out if only they wouldn’t have met at the clinic of venereal diseases.

She proclaimed that the future for the arts was in Asia, and she had already picked a city to live: Singapore. She threw her blonde hair behind her shoulders and asked Bietolone in a heavily accented English: “Do you want to come with me?”
“Let me think about it” he replied seriously.
She scribbled her number on a piece of paper, gave it to him and disappeared in the stairwell before even getting her diagnosis.

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busking

Aussie magazine Birdee has just published a personal essay piece of mine. It was good fun to write – and it’s still about art, in a way. It’s the tragicomic account of my super-short busking career in Melbourne: “With a full set of paints and an open mind, Naima Morelli took to the streets of Melbourne to try her hand at busking. Three hours later…”

Here’s the link to the piece

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blog2
Do you remember MSN? That fairly basic chat you used to spend hours on, chatting with your faraway summer friends during winter? Ten years ago MSN was one the first ways to keep all your “contacts” together.
Back then, my friend Enrico was very big on “contacts”. He was – and still is – a very friendly person who is comfortable with pretty much everyone. When he was thirteen the idea of having all his friends in one single place was to him the most exciting thing ever – right after Harry Potter I suppose. As for me, I used to considered other people being an annoyance most of the times – fictional people like Harry Potter included – so the fact that he was bragging about the number of his MSN’s contacts sounded funny to me. Fast forward to the Facebook era, my friend’s account is bursting at the seams, and so he periodically purges it – only to repent short time after and re-add his unfriended ones.

Today as a grown up girl I finally understand the importance of other people. I gave up my antisocial punk attitude and I started to appreciate talking and exchanging ideas with people big time. If I have to spot a precise time I decided cut on my misanthropy, I would say when I first encountered the Roman art world. At nineteen I was going to plenty of vernissages, often with my two best mates – “compagni d’arte” – and we were wondering about why all those caryatids, err, older people, didn’t want to talk with us. If you are not familiar with art openings in Italy, you should know that you seldom see younger people there. This was far from bothering me. I figured I just had to be more stylish, so I started wearing a little black dress, red lipstick and the right amount of boldness.

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jake1

My interview with Melbourne-based Kiwi painter Jake Walker has just been published on Trouble Magazine. The interview is part of my reportage about artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

Here the link to the online version of the magazine

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live1
I remember one beautiful evening few years ago in Rome. I was walking with my new friend Francesco, a mime just met at Cinema Trevi. Quite strangely for a mime, he was a chatterbox. I thought that was because he couldn’t talk on stage, so that was his way to vent. Since I just came back from an opening at Gagosian gallery, I was wearing red lipstick, a little back dress and red shoes. Francesco and I keep on whirling in the street paved with cobblestones and he said: “You know what the beauty of life is? That you can live wherever you want. You just have to choose a city, and you can move there anytime.” Then he went on telling me about when he was my age – twenty-one at the time – and he moved to Spain by himself. He was working in a bar near the beach, studying as an actor at the same time. He also told me about that time that he saved a girl abused by a group of guys – an anecdote he clearly unsheathed to impress me. Aside from that, the beautiful thing about Francesco was his constant excitement and exaggerated optimism. He could have been banal and cliché in his representation of happiness, fancying sunsets on the beach and the like, but he was still infusing me merriness and even a little inspiration.

Over the years I kept on asking myself: Is that true? Can you really pick a city you like and decide to move there on the whim?

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