Naima Morelli

Interview for Baltyra

“Exoticism is an endlessly fascinating topic and an ongoing subject of exploration for me. On one hand exoticism is a necessary tool for curiosity. It has something of the infatuation in a way. When you fall in love with someone, you project your fantasies on them – which of course have nothing to do with the actual person and everything to with those damn adventures of Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee in Madripoor – which totally screwed up your brain as a teenager. Anyway, that confused exotic approach is necessary in order to take the next step to get closer to your subject and learn. Exoticism becomes dangerous when it’s taken at face value. When it is not the starting point for further explorations, but it becomes a stereotype to pigeonhole people and cultures. Not surprisingly many Indonesian artists and artists with a non-western background play a lot around this concept. They reverse roles, make fun of stereotypes and show potential dangers connected to them.”

I have recently been interviewed  by photojournalist Stefano Romano for the Indonesian webmagazine Baltyra. In the interview we chat a bit about my book “Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione“, discuss the developments of art in Indonesia and talk tradition, censorship and exoticism.

Here’s the link to the interview


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