Naima Morelli

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Artist and curator Alia Zaal

Responding to Impressionism, UAE artist Alia Zaal studied the natural landscapes of Vétheuil, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, both in their natural and artificial ecosystems, finding connections between her own UAE landscape and the impressionist one. The artist reimagines familiar scenes of the sea, the desert and the city lit by the sun, the moon and street lights.

I have interviewed Alia Zaal for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

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Finally my piece on the Venice Biennale 2022 has been published by Plural Art Mag. While the piece was written in the aftermath of the opening, it came out just now, given the webmagazine’s editorial schedule.

The article is a report, as well as an overview, and it is focused on the Southeast Asian presence, which this year was much smaller compared to previous years.

Here is the link to the piece

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Two Libyan women walk past graffiti depicting Muammar Gaddafi

My first article for Al Jazeera has just been published. It’s called “The writers retelling Libya’s history through a feminist lens” and tells how Libya’s women novelists (but not exclusively them) are reframing the country’s stories in a post-Gaddafi era.

I worked on it for a long time, and it was very satisfying to get to write a longform piece with a bit more of a narrative style. Also, I got to know this county a little deeper, not just through its visual art but also through literature. For the piece I have interviewed, among others, writers Kawther Eljehmi, Maryem Salama, Manuela Piemonte Mahbuba Khalifa, and Mariza d’Anna, and publisher Ghassan Fergiani.

Here is the link to the piece

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There is but one truth spoken in many different languages. This belief lies at the core of Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto’s practice. With his artworks that examine the cultures of Europe and Java, he signals to us that while the forms, protagonists and settings of each culture’s mythologies differ, they ultimately convey similar fundamental truths about humanity. 

Over the years, Eddy Susanto has reframed how the East and West meet. The Jakarta-born, Yogyakarta-based artist is on a mission to uncover the culture and seminal texts which are the patrimony of the Javanese. However, some of these have been forgotten over time, due to reasons such as the limits of oral transmission, the impact of colonialism and, later on, mass culture.

I have written about Eddy Susanto’s show I have curated in Venice for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

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I’m really happy to share this incredibly interesting interview with curator Patrick Flores, whose curatorial work and research I greatly admire, and never fails to expands my imagination and understanding of the role of contemporary art.

Also, it’s my first collaboration with ArtAsiaPacific. Being one of the most authoritative magazines about contemporary art in Asia, it’s a pleasure and an honour to have contributed with my writing!

Here is the link to the interview

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One of the most recognised contemporary Mongolian artists, Mugi has presented at the Venice Biennale a show titled “A Journey Through Vulnerability” exploring the concept of samsara, compassion, and healing.

I have interviewed the artist at the Mongolian Pavilion in Venice for CoBo Social.

Here is the link to the piece

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Filipino curator Patrick Flores really likes the word “complicated.”

He actually uses it a lot as a verb: “complicating.” I find this lexical choice so compelling that sitting across him at a Formica table in a bare room in Palazzo delle Prigioni, Venice, I can’t help but ask, “You use the word ‘complicating’ a lot. Is it for you a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing? Tell me about it!”

For a little bit of context, we are speaking at the Venice Biennale, during its opening days. Taiwan’s National Pavilion – which is actually not a national pavilion at all, but instead an ‘official collateral show,’ since Taiwan is, of course, not considered a nation – is being presented at the Palazzo delle Prigioni.

I wrote about the Taiwanese Pavilion for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

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Rula Halawani

“I believe in destiny. And indeed the way I began with photography was a complete accident,” says Palestinian artist Rula Halawani: “It was just something that came to me.”

Born in Jerusalem in 1964, Halawani is influencing generations of young artists and photographers, both with her rich oeuvre, exhibited in shows, Biennales, and art fairs around the world, as well as her role as an art teacher and professor at Birzeit University in Palestine. I spoke to her for Al-Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview 

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“The Visual Arts Forum started in the streets with the idea that art is an important tool for transformation,” explains Deema Ershaid, the Visual Art Forum’s Executive Director. “Palestinian artists felt a strong sense of responsibility during that phase, a feeling that they had to do something; they wanted a say in what was happening; they longed to be a part of people’s lives.”

I have interviewed Deema and artist Rafat Asad for Middle East Monitor, to talk about the development of the art school Visual Art Forum in Palestine.

Here is the link to the interview

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There is a sincere enthusiasm when Mulyana speaks about his work and his intention of producing works on a larger scale, as I speak to him in Yogyakarta alongside Fragile Ecologies’ curator, New York-based John Silvis.

The playful and joyous elements of Muluyana’s practice have much deeper roots. At the beginning of his art practice, Mulyana knitted his works by himself and viewed it as a meditation; a way to unite with a greater force animating the universe.

Here is the link to the piece

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Nameer Qassim, “Enough”, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 100x100 cm [Courtesy of The Palestinian Museum US]

Curated by Nancy Nesvet, head curator at the Palestine Museum in the US, the exhibition “From Palestine With Art” features 19 Palestinian artists from Palestine and across the diaspora.

“This is the strongest Palestinian presentation ever,” said Faisal Saleh, director of the Palestine Museum US. “In terms of the size, and the boldness of its pieces, it is a very significant, strong presentation. I think this is going to have a very big impact and get the Palestinian name out in a big way.”

I have reviewed the show for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

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Cambodian artist Pen Robit’s work constantly bounces between figuration and abstraction. In the unpredictability of his style and subjects, he shows a willingness to explore and expand his understanding of reality through his artistic practice.

“I paint to discover the world, history, and reality through colour,” he tells me from his home studio in Phnom Penh. “I don’t care if what I’m doing is seen as contemporary art or not – my approach to painting is very classical, and I constantly look for a way to connect with the history of art.”

I have interviewed the artist for Plural Art Mag

Here is the link to the interview

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