Naima Morelli

July, 2016 Monthly archive

Among the art pieces I write each month, every now and then I churn out a funny one. This time the Sorrento local magazine Sorrentum was looking for a short write-up about the participation of the miniature sail boat Stella Maris and its team of two to the annual maritime festival of the French city of Brest (the same one of Jean Genet’s “Querelle de Brest”). Half of the team was Capitain Giancarlo Antonetti – a super-chatty sea dog and certifiable nuts – and the other was my brother, who is by far the sternest and most taciturn person I have ever met.

In the article I imagined the two-days long car trip of the two from Italy to France. You can read the piece on the August issue of Sorrentum or, more straightforwardly, below. It is in Italian, but the title can translate as “Fear and Loathing in Brest”

Paura e Delirio a Brest

Prendete un pizzico di Hunter Thompson e frullatelo con una manciata di Jean Genet, e avrete la nostra rappresentanza sorrentina al Festival Internazionale Marittimo di Brest, in Francia. Questo evento tanto atteso dagli amanti della vela accoglie ad ogni sua edizione migliaia di imbarcazioni da tutto il mondo ed è volto far conoscere ai visitatori le diverse culture marittime.

A tenere alta la bandiera sorrentina, anzi, la vela a tarchia, è il comandante Giancarlo Antonetti, l’esuberante fondatore dell’associazione velistica che da sempre si fa promotore di questa antica tradizione in penisola, affiancato in veste straordinaria dal compassato Leandro Morelli, un nome che solo di recente comincia a risuonare nell’ambito nautico, ma che già è noto in alcuni circoli ginnici sorrentini per far sospirare più di una donzella.

Ed ora immaginate questo improbabile duo, il vivace e chiacchierone Giancarlo strizzato in una striminzita minicooper color petrolio con il laconico Leandro, un duo lanciato sotto l’infinita tratta del traforo del Monte Bianco con una piccola feluca pericolosamente legata sul tetto, ed ecco, avrete davanti a voi il girone che Dante aveva lasciato fuori dall’Inferno per premura.

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Immagini 031
“Actually, this is a really good idea”, said my dentist throwing his blood-drenched gloves in the bin. He had just pulled out my wisdom tooth, making me more sore and more wise – pain is supposed to be the highway to wisdom after all, isn’t it? The dentist wholeheartedly approved of my habitual taking July and August away from my Rome life. That time wouldn’t be exactly “off”. I would in fact catch up on project that need breadth and space, dedicate to articles that I never have time to pitch, books that I never have the peace of mind to sit and read. Most importantly, I’d refine what I have learned in the previous months.

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Hong Kong-based magazine CoBo has just published my interview with Norwegian art collector and adventurer Erling Kagge. There is a line of the interview that is applicable well beyond collecting, and definitely struck a chord with me: “To be an art collector you must be obsessed. It is beyond rationality and there is a bit of insanity in it. Many people have hobbies, they might collect stamps or cars. I personally don’t have hobbies, for me both expeditions, art collecting and publishing are different aspects of the same thing called “lifestyle”. I’m all in and I don’t set boundaries between my private life, my life as a collector, or as an explorer.”

I believe that this concept of “being all in” for the things you love, is what ultimately leads to a beautiful life. For me personally this state can be find in the technique; whether it is writing, the martial arts or creating stories. But it can also translate in simply deeply listening to a friend when he’s telling you about his take on Rudolf Steiner’s theories in front of a cup of coffee. It is that sense of connection with everything you have committed to do in depth. It creates a communion of ideas, people, nature, everything around us. It puts us in a network, as opposed to making us feeling disconnected.

So for me today it is not really about asking the point of doing a particular activity, but it is rather about recognizing what learning and practicing whatever type of activity or art in depth can make to your life. This goes especially for those privileged few of us which have time every now and then to incur in existential crisis. But I’m going off topic…

Here’s the link to the piece

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My new piece “Five Indonesian artists that help us rethink nature” has just been published on Cobo. In recent years I came to feel very strongly about environmental issues and I’m a big believer that art can really help people connect with our planet on a deep level. Channelling the spirit of the times, contemporary Indonesian artists are tackling the theme of nature in a unique way.

Here’s the link to the piece

ps: Cobo has new flashin’ fb page, check it out!


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My interview with the wonderful Singaporean artist Amanda Heng has just been published on the new webmagazine D_Railed.

Amanda Heng’s work has been seminal in the development of Singaporean contemporary art and resonate with art viewers from all walks of life. Along with her production she greatly contributed to the growth of the Southeast Asian scene and the cultural discourse in the region by setting up initiatives and groups.

Interviewing Amanda Heng was a blast. She is a strong, inspiring figure and yet gentle and friendly. In the original hour and a half long recording of the interview we talk about many different topics. In this piece though I have decided to focus mainly on her perspective on Singaporean culture and the local art scene. I thought this was the best solution for someone who isn’t familiar with the context in which the artist operates.

The interview is part of my reportage on Singapore contemporary art, and part of the foundation for a book on the same topic I’m currently working on.

A few words on the magazine; D_Railed has been just founded by colleague and friend Deianira Tolema, a talented writer working between New York and Naples. I greatly admire her determination in realizing everything she put her mind to do and I’m honoured to be part of her team from the start!

Here is the link to the piece

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