Naima Morelli

March, 2016 Monthly archive

Contemporary Indonesian art and literature have found a new home in the Italian city of Naples. I talk about it in this article called “Making Naples a home for Indonesian art and literature” for ASEF culture360. I have been a regular reader of this webmagazine – part of the Asia-Europe foundation – so I’m excited to have become a contributor.

For the piece I have interviewed Professor Antonia Soriente from Università degli Studi di Napoli and gallerist Vincenzo Montella who have contributed to promote the dialogue between Naples and Indonesia.

Here is the link to the piece

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We are back with a new report from the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, where we followed a workshop for children inspired  by the exhibition “Il Giardino di Matisse”, currently on in the Museum. This show displays the original art from the namesake book by writer Samantha Friedman and Italian illustrator Cristina Amodeo, who reinterpreted the work by Henri Matisse.

The book was created for the exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs” at MoMA. This was part of a new project by the NY museum, consisting in publishing a book for every large show linked to its collection, and a collaboration with several houses national and international publishing houses. For Italy it’s Fatatrac.

The osmotic process ended up in this workshop at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where children were trying their hand at the collage, helped by their parents. The workshop was in fact aimed at family – so that art can become a way to spend quality time together. Enjoy the video! (in Italian)

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I’m glad I have a job that allows me to dwell on the many interesting inputs that I get from cultural experiences. I have been recently struck by the novel “Green on Blue”, by American writer and former marine corps special operations team leader Elliot Ackerman, and read a bit about his extraordinary life and work.

“Green on Blue” is a compassionate coming-of-age story, written from the perspective of a young Afghan orphan. The book is a great lesson on empathy and the coexistence of multiple narratives. In his work he touched the culture and the soul of what for him – serving five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan – was “the enemy”.

While today the majority of intellectuals in the western world reject violence altogether, Ackerman sees violence and war as an inevitable evil. Steering clear from any kind of romanticism or narcissistic elegy of courage, he rather appeals to the concept of responsibility for educated people.

Is it possible to follow orders and practice obedience when you are an intellectual? How to develop empathy towards your enemies, accept their narrative, and still be able to fight, risk your life and kill? Can sensitivity and toughness coexist – and would that really make war less cruel? In this piece for Global Comment I reflected on these problems, drawing my conclusions from the author’s life example and writing.

Here’s the link to the piece

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The Hong-Kong based webmagazine and platform CoBo has published my latest article called “Are Collectors Doing the Job of the Government in Indonesia?” In the piece I discuss the substantial role of Indonesian collectors in changing local art scene through the establishment of private museums – an act to substitute the role of local government’s in the promotion of contemporary art.

Here’s the link to the article


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Arts writer and curator Deianira Tolema – the gal behind Zero Hype Mag – has interviewed me for Art a Part of Cult(ure). She is the best interviewer I could hope for, a talented, committed writer and a kindred spirit in the journey in the contemporary art world – she goes west whereas I go east. In the piece (in Italian) called “Indonesian interferences with a Singaporean aftertaste. Interview to Naima Morelli”,  we talk about my start as a writer, my research in Indonesia, Australia and Singapore, and about my book Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione

Here’s the link to the interview 

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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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