Naima Morelli

Archive
Middle East
The third edition of Ramallah Art Fair at Zawyeh Gallery in Ramallah [Instagram/ramallah_artfair]

The first article published this year is about the third edition of an atypical but important art fair that takes place in Ramallah, Palestine.

It’s the second year that I follow tis partly physical partly virtual art fair, and this time I spoke with the fair’s director for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

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Bashar Alhroub [Zawyeh gallery]

The new Dubai show of Ramallah-based artist Bashar Alhroub looks at his native city Jerusalem as a place with multiple identities. “When you are in Jerusalem,” Alhroub told me, “you never feel you are in one single place. You never feel that the city is belonging to anyone, although everyone claims it as theirs.”

The artist’s new show opened on 14 November at Zawyeh Gallery in Dubai, and last until 5 January. Called “Tracing Boundaries”, the artist focuses on Jerusalem as a religious symbol, while also looking at it as a subject of pop culture. He traces the boundaries between holiness and material culture and invites the visitor to observe a fine line between spirituality and commercial clutter.

I have interviewed the artist for Middle East Monitor

Here is the link to the piece

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Le Monnaye de Paris, ASIA NOW’s location [Naima Morelli]

With its two leading art fairs, Paris + Art Basel and ASIA NOW, as well as exhibitions scattered around the city, Paris Art Week 2022 had an extensive presence of Middle Eastern artists and galleries, and paid strong attention to the current situation in Iran.

I wrote the story for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the article

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Women artists are gaining more and more relevance and traction in the contemporary art scene in Oman. Although the history of Omani women in art is fairly recent, their work conveys their singular experience and perspective within a continuously evolving culture.

Their artworks are also truly innovative in terms of the use of new technologies and their aesthetics; they’re aligned with the latest trends in contemporary art, yet steeped in historical research. I wrote the story for Middle East Monitor

Here is the link to the article

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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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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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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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Courtesy of Dia Mrad and Zawyeh Gallery

“The Road to Reframe” by Dia Mrad is a photo series capturing local architecture after the explosion at the Beirut port on Aug. 4, 2020, and one of the most interesting works that has been presented at Art Dubai.

I have interviewed the artist for Al-Monitor

Here is the link to the interview

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Middle East Eye has just published my gallery piece on a new exhibition which sheds light on coastal landscapes in Palestine, how they’ve changed over time and the narratives that have emerged.

A People by the Sea at the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, aims to change the standard depictions of Palestine and showcase stories that are often overlooked.

Here is the link to the piece

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Podcasts have been my constant companions since their inception, so I was thrilled when artist and journalist. Joana Alarcão interviewed for her “Insight of an Eco Artist” podcast.

In the interview I spoke a ton about researching Southeastasian contemporary art, my writing about art in the MENA region and even a little about my graphic novels, so the interview was divided in two parts.

Here is part 1 of the podcast

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Farah Saleh in What My Body Can/t Remember (2019) © Chris Scott , courtesy of the artist

Where does a refugee find her homeland? Perhaps in unexpected places; a memory of the country might emerge through the most mundane gestures, or even from a simple interaction with certain objects.

I spoke about this subject with Palestinian dancer Farah Saleh for Middle East Monitor. Farah is preparing a new interactive live performance installation called PAST-inuous for the upcoming Dance International Glasgow.

Here is the link to the piece

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