Naima Morelli



In their wonderful graphic novel/field journal “The Crack” photographer Carlos Spottorno and journalist Guillermo Abril report the unfolding of Europeʹs migrant crisis from Africa to the Arctic over the course of three years. Their aim is to identify the causes and consequences of Europeʹs identity crisis.

I have interviewed the two reporters for Qantara, a webmagazine promoting cultural exchange, based in Germany. I’m super-excited because of this new collaboration, which allows me to bring back my explorations in foreign realities back to my homeland Europe.

Here is the link to the interview

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Culture360 – the webmagazine of the Asia-Europe Foundation – has just published my piece on independent curators bridging Asia and Europe (and also other parts of the world) through contemporary art.

I have met these three incredible women in several occasions; they are doing a very important and necessary work, filling gaps in understanding across cultures. Their practice and professional rigour inspires me greatly.

Here is the link to the piece

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Times of Malta’s Sunday magazine Escape has just published my selection of the top four pavilions at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. While in a previous piece on Cobo I focused on the Asian Pavilions, here I take a look at the European Pavilions in the Giardini section of the Biennale. What I have found are a lot of interesting ideas, a few which is possible to implement, others to add to our toolkit for a better understanding of the world we live in.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Hong-Kong based magazine Cobo has just published my interview with artist Fendry Ekel. Ekel moved from Indonesia to the Netherlands in the ’80s, where he studied art mentored by top-notch artists such as Luc Tuymans and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Growing up in a family with a military background, for Ekel being an artist was an intentional choice. Painting is his medium of selection, and he is aware that the visual and conceptual aspects of an artwork go hand in hand. In his recent solo show “1987” at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Fendry Ekel recreated a mental journey of the mankind through a series of monumental paintings.

Here’s the link to the interview


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“I never decide in advance why I want to talk about a subject; it just arises from the context. The wall in particular is a symbol that speaks to me strongly,” says Tunisian-Russian artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke, to explain her new work at Dallas Contemporary gallery. “For me, walls mean separation. But walls are also skins that say something about a city and the people who live there in hidden ways,” she observes. “I have always been interested in revealing the invisible.”

Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born in Tunis in 1978 to a Russian mother and Tunisian father, she studied at the University of Fine Arts in Tunis before receiving a PhD from La Sorbonne in Paris. Her installations, objects and pictorial works are embedded in urban contexts, intertwined with memory and geographically and politically constructed identities. She currently has a solo show, called “Walk the Line”, at Dallas Contemporary in Texas, USA, from September 20 until December 21. I have interviewed Nadia for Middle East Monitor , asking her about her personal path through art, the Tunisian contemporary art scene and the theme of migration in her work.

Here’s the link to the piece

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Here’s the second part of my photostory from the research for my book about contemporary art in Indonesia. If you miss the first part you can find it here

Rome, Berlin, Sorrento, Melbourne, Naples, Venice. Since I came back from Indonesia I tried to look for Indonesian art, artists and exhibitions wherever I went – and I met wonderful people in the process. At the same time I faced the challenge to organize all the material from my research and integrate it with new information. For months the arts pages of the Jakarta Post, the Jakarta Globe and Asia Art Pacific became my morning reading. I didn’t know much about how to write a research-based book when I started and I learned so much in the process – in the photo above you can see me experimenting with post-its.
In a few weeks the book will finally be published (want to be updated? Drop a mail to contact[at] with the subject line Indonesia Book and I’ll keep you posted). In the meantime here are some pictures from the European and Australian part of my research:

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I found this big collage on canvas hidden behind a bookcase in Joseph Meo’s studio in Massa Lubrense.
It’s an artwork of Joseph Meo’s early production, the date it’s 1986.
With stubborn, laborious persuasion I conviced the artist to give it to me. Now it’s one of the favourite pieces of my personal collection.
Let aside the impressing collage technique, the subject itself is very charming. That rebelious woman in leather jacket has something berlinesque and
reminds me to the Marianne Faithfull of the Broken English period.

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Extreme case: let’s say you are an art journalist doing a reportage in a remote third world country.
You do all the research, you use all the common sense and you even follow some “how to” on the internet.
Even then, you could find yourself in a difficult situation like: I fixed one month in advance an interview with artist Pinco tomorrow. But I just meet artist Pallino and I can interview him only tomorrow, because he leaves the day after tomorrow. A rapid check to your mailbox and… crap! The artist Pollaiolo wants to anticipate his interview…apparently he is free only tomorrow!
So, let’s make the point. We have three interviews to prepare in one single day.
And you wake up late today too!

Don’t cancel an interview. Don’t even think about it.
To cancel an interview is bad. It’s always bad.
I did that just two times and each time a dire calamity had struck me.
The first time my boyfriend threw me out of our house, the second time a crater suddenly opened in the ground devouring my beloved kitten.
So don’t do that. Seriously.

What you can do is forget about the tan today, ignore the heat and the shining sun and sit in front of your computer.
Now all your efforts will be concentrated on doing an accurate research and at the same time get all the work done as fast as possible.
I usually use the following method.

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The italian web magazine Artribune just published the interview I had in Berlin with the collector Erika Hoffmann in her home/museum.

Lucas Leo Catalano took some pictures that give you an idea of how it was there. Amazing, in one word. Supercool.

Here you are the link to the interview

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The italian web magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) just published the interview I had in Berlin with the curator Katerina Valdivia Bruch. The interview is part of my reportage about Indonesian Contemporary Art.

Here you are the link to the interview

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Accademia Tedesca – Borsisti 2009

Ancora una volta L’Accademia Tedesca di Villa Massimo diventa protagonista in ambito artistico-culturale, barrando la casella 26 marzo sul fitto calendario di eventi che ha sempre organizzando fin dalla sua fondazione, e per i quali è particolarmente attiva negli ultimi tempi, proponendo circa una trentina di eventi all’anno, tra mostre, concerti e serate di lettura.

Quest’anno come di consueto, data ventisei di marzo, è stato presentato dei borsisti dell’Accademia Tedesca, una rosa di nove artisti destinati a suscitare grande interesse, molti già attivi nel tessuto artistico romano con proprie personali e tutti ampiamente riconosciuti all‘estero, non solo in Germania.
Questi “Sipendiaten”, tutti sulla quarantina, sono artisti i quali, con romantici stralci nella migliore tradizione del “Gran Tour”, sono stati ritenuti meritevoli in base alle loro eccezionali capacità nel rispettivo campo artistico di appartenenza, non necessariamente figurativo ma anche letterario, musicale, architettonico, in breve creativo.
Sono loro stessi a decantare la capitale italiana come luogo ideale dove trovare ispirazione per la loro produzione, liberi da problemi economici di sorta.

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1971, Milano. 1970 Tokio.

Un anno di differenza per due artisti, la prima italiana, il secondo, nonostante il luogo di nascita, tedeschissimo. Linguaggi diversi, ma poi nemmeno tanto, in quanto entrambi influenzati fortemente dall’estetica pop e accomunati da una regola portante per tutto il loro lavoro: la provocazione.

E’ nell’ambito della rassegna “Soltanto un quadro al massimo”, ideata da Ludovico Pratesi e dal direttore dell’Accademia Tedesca di Villa Massimo dr. Joachim Bluher che il confronto tra i due artisti di fa esplicito. Il ciclo espositivo, giunto oramai alla decima edizione, fa dialogare, ma anche amichevolmente scontrare, due opere appartenenti rispettivamente ad un’artista italiano e ad uno tedesco. 

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