Naima Morelli

December, 2016 Monthly archive

“Scholastic years” are perhaps more meaningful for many in framing seasons of life than actual “calendar years”. Summer is the great divider, and for me September has often corresponded in looking for a new house and resuming old and new plans. And yet, the end of the year is a great opportunity to stop and look back at the recent past, review one’s own narrative, look at mind-shifts, shift of priorities, meditate on lesson, remember the great moments and trying to get to know oneself better (hopefully).

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It should written of the information leaflet, like the one you find in medicine boxes: long term exposure to contemporary art changes your way of thinking. It gives you a complexity of thinking and variety of perspective on issues, which is extremely important. For example, the work of Palestinian artists Khalil Rabah – especially his “Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind” is one that urges people re-consider reality in other terms – especially because here the boundaries between artwork and actual history-making institution are really thin. It was a privilege to have the chance to interview him for Middle East Monitor, after having seen his work at MACRO Museum in Rome.

Here’s the link to the interview


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When all your favourite things come together, you can’t help writing about them. In the case of this interview with the great video art and new media pioneer Krisna Murti, which has been just published by CoBo, these things are contemporary art, Indonesia and martial arts.

Here is the link to the interview

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On December 6 I took part in a panel discussion with artist Myriam Laplante and art critic Gabriele Perretta about the work “Il Cantico dei Cantici” (Ha Shir Ha Shirim Shelì) by artist Isabella Tirelli, which was screened at the MACRO, the Contemporary Art Museum of Rome.

Isabella Tirelli is a multimedia artist working with painting, sculpture, performance and video. Her art deals with spirituality and is rich in symbolism and references to alchemy.  The work she screened at MACRO is a free adaptation of the Song of Songs from the Bible (a short trailer is available here). The video was realized in the span of four years and composed by more than 1200 digital paintings.

In the discussion I talked of Isabella Tirelli’s work in an international framework. I traced the artistic lineage of “Il Cantico dei Cantici”, and compared it to the oeuvre of artists such as Australian Bindi Cole and Marco Brambilla (the author of Kanye West’s “Power” video). Here are some pictures from the discussion.

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Little post to say that Art a part of Cult(ure) – the Rome-based art web magazine I have been writing for since 2010 – has just published the Italian version of my interview with the one and only Elizabeth Pisani, badass adventurer and epidemiologist (that’s right!), trawling around Indonesia to write the tome “Indonesia Etc.” The interview happened thanks to the mediation of another wonderful kickass gal, Ilaria Benini from the publishing house ADD Editore – you might want to google her to check the work she has done in Myanmar as well.

Here is the link to the interview 

Also, another set of considerations, since this morning I feel talkative. What would you do in life if you hadn’t any obligation  or responsibility? This is a recurrent topic I have been discussing with my friends and my ninjas lately. In my case, I had no doubt: I would keep doing exactly what I’m doing right now; I believe that this job I have created for myself is perhaps the coolest.

The contemporary art world can be a tricky one. Sometimes it can feel like you are working for something that has no meaning and is quite superficial (this is from a chat with another contemporary art super-villain friend of mine, who is in an existential crisis right now). For me, this feeling disappears when I met people like Elizabeth Pisani, who are of course not about contemporary art, but about the taste for adventure, learning, knowledge.

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EN: Il Ramo D’Oro is a special place in Naples for artistic reflection which is truly grassroots, and for the gathering of an international art community. Upon request of Il Ramo D’Oro’s director, Vincenzo Montella, I have written an essay called “Flow and rigidity in challenging the borders” reflecting on the experience of the series of international shows Oltreconfine. This included Attualità Indonesiane which I co-curated.

The Oltreconfine book – where you can find my essay alongside the ones of authors such as Made Bayak e Judicael Ouango – is now available on Amazon.

Here the English version: Beyond-Borders: Art and Resilience in the Internet Era

ITA: Il Ramo D’Oro è un posto unico a Napoli dove sviluppare riflessioni artistiche genuine e dove coltivare una comunità artistica internazionale. Su richiesta del fondatore del Ramo D’Oro, Vincenzo Montella, ho scritto un breve saggio chiamato “Fludità e rigidità nel mettere in discussione i confini”, il quale riflette sull’esperienza della rassegna internazionale Oltreconfine. Questa ha incluso Attualità Indonesiane che ho co-curato.

Il libro di Oltreconfine, nel quale si trova il mio saggio insieme a quello di altri autori, tra cui Made Bayak e Judicael Ouango, è ora disponibile su Amazon.

Ecco la versione italiana: Oltreconfine: Arte e resilienza nell’era di internet

Qui sotto un estratto dal mio testo:

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My essay on the work of Uzbek artist Alexander Barkovsky has just been published by ENECAA, an online platform for researching, collecting and advising about Central Asian art.

I feel the work of Alexandr Barkovskiy is a great visual paradigm for whoever seeks to understand the contemporary cultural scene in Uzbekistan and Central Asia at large. Having recently exhibited at the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and Gallery Andakulovoy in Dubai, this 37-year-old artist encapsulates the key cultural transformations Uzbekistan has been undergoing in recent years.

Here is the link to the article

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