Naima Morelli

Tag "australian art"


Lovers, friends and family have always been the favourite source of inspiration for artists since the beginning of times. Of course, these involuntary muses are not always happy of being turned into characters of a story, or having their portrait on a gallery wall. This especially if the art deals with intimate, personal and potentially embarrassing themes.

Back in the day the artist could hope the subject matter was unaware of being included in the work. Today though it’s virtually impossible. An image or a review can be infinitely shared on social media. At the same time gallery access is not just for the elites anymore.

I this piece, which has just been published on ArtsHub, I discuss the ethics of including other people’s life in art with artist Geraldine Kang and writer Michele Lee.

Here’s the link to the piece

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This is a public service announcement (with guitar! As the Clash would say); I’m working on a new book. It will revolve around my research on contemporary art in Singapore and will explore some concepts I started looking at in my previous book, Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia, un’introduzione.

Of course, having a second “baby” might look easier if you already had that kind of experience. But a second book comes with its new challenges. On top of that, I also had an aborted book which still is very much a looming presence. (Should we stop once and for all with these stupid baby metaphors when talking about book projects?)

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Article number five for the Times of Malta! Here I talk with Australian artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, who are researching the Maltese community in St Albans, a suburb of Melbourne, for their new video projects called “One from Mosta, Two from Zabbar”. Having always worked with sound in their art, the duo was interested both in the technical aspect and the social valence on Spirtu Pront.

“The singing is extremely skillful, in a loud and tightly strained voice, exemplifying Malta’s dual Arabic and European influences.” they explain “The ritual incorporates a cadenza where everyone respectfully renounces their insults and emphatically reconfirms the need for friendship.” In their video project the artists are interested in presenting this form of singing ritualised arguments as a positive social force and as a metaphor for the resolution of conflict in the public space.

Here’s the link to the article

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The Australian webmagazine RAVEN has just published my interview with Melbourne artist Sam Leach. I met Sam at Palazzo Bembo, in Venice, and we talked about the artist’s work in Personal Structures, a collateral exhibition to the Venice Biennale.

Here’s the link to the article

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Si è da poco conclusa la mostra con mia curatela “Nothing’s happened since Yesterday – Due artisti da Melbourne” di Georgina Lee e Kenny Pittock alla Galleria 291est, Roma. Se non avete avuto modo di visitarla ma siete curiosi di sapere di che si trattava, ecco il mio testo critico a corredo della mostra, più una galleria di immagini:

“Paesi geograficamente lontani da noi come l’Australia suscitano suggestioni diverse che dicono molto non tanto del paese stesso, quanto della persona interpellata.
Per alcuni all’Australia si associa all’esodo in corso della gioventù italiana in cerca di prospettive lavorative. Sono infatti sempre di più coloro disposti ad affrontare più di 24 ore di volo e un cambio radicale per sistemarsi in quella che è vista come la nuova America. Per loro l’Australia sarebbe tutta percentuali di disoccupazione bassissime, clima amichevole e qualità della vita alta; almeno secondo le statistiche. Per altri invece Australia vuol dire esclusivamente spiagge sconfinate popolate da biondi surfisti abbronzati. Altri non penseranno altro che ai coccodrilli e ai cappelli di pelle a falda larga con i dentini di alligatore (ne ho uno e sono indecisa se indossarlo all’opening di questa mostra o meno, giusto per il gusto di farmi accoltellare dai due artisti indignati per lo stereotipo). 

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manifesto accademia

Giovedì 29 maggio ore 15
incontro pre-mostra con gli artisti Kenny Pittock e Georgina Lee
incontro moderato da Isabella Tirelli e Naima Morelli

Thursday May 29 , 3 pm
pre-exhibition talk with artists Kenny Pittock e Georgina Lee
talk moderated by Isabella Tirelli and Naima Morelli

Accademia di Belle Arti
Roma via ripetta 222 Aula 207

Giovedì pomeriggio all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma si terrà il talk degli artisti australiani Kenny Pittock e Georgina Lee. La discussione, che coinvolgerà anche gli studenti, verterà sulle peculiarità del sistema dell’arte australiano rispetto a quello italiano e sul percorso artistico degli artisti emergenti in entrambi i paesi.
Nel corso dell’incontro gli artisti discuteranno la propria pratica artistica in vista dell’imminente mostra alla Galleria 291est, curata da me nell’ambito della rassegna Common Place. Inoltre, codiuvata dalla Prof. Isabella Tirelli, fornirò una breve introduzione del contesto australiano basandomi sulla mia ricerca condotta a Melbourne nel corso del 2013.

A talk by artists Kenny Pittock and Georgina Lee will be held at Rome’s Art Academy on Thursday afternoon. The discussion with the students will focus on the peculiarities of the Australian art system compared to the Italian one and on the emerging artists’ path in both countries. The artists will also talk about their work for their upcoming exhibition at Galleria 291est, Rome, curated by me for the Common Place series. Together with lecturer Prof. Isabella Tirelli, I will also give an introduction to the Australian context based on my research on the Melbourne art scene.

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What the National Gallery of Victoria is trying to do with the Melbourne Now exhibition is to define the identity of Melbourne through its cultural practices, with a special focus on contemporary art.
I’m in Italy now, ironically writing my book about emerging artists in Melbourne, so I couldn’t visit the exhibition. Luckily my Australian friends and the artists that I have interviewed always keep me updated.
Some time ago I got a mail from artist Danius Kesminas, who told me about his new project with Slave Pianos for Melbourne Now, called Gamelan sisters (Sedulur gamelan). I posted some images, which gives you the feeling of this evocative machinery. On Slave Pianos’ website I find more information about it:

“Sedulur Gamelan (Gamelan Sisters) consists of two interlocking wooden structures that reconfigure elements of traditional Javanese architecture through the De Stijl philosophical principles of neoplasticism to create an abstraction of an 18th century double grand piano.

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The Italian web magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) has just published my interview with the Japanese artist Shohei Takasaki. The interview is part of my reportage about emerging artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

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Flaming Flamingo 2011 (lr) copy

Melbourne. I consider the afternoons devoted to see art exhibitions like a sort of cultural safari.
You need a friend to enjoy it and a location where it is likely to meet dangerous, exotic or fascinating artworks.
In Melbourne some good locations for exhibition safaris are Fitzroy, the CBD and South Yarra.

So a couple of days ago I was in South Yarra with a friend and we had the chance to see the wonderful exhibition of Louise Saxton called “Sanctuary too” at Gould galleries.
No other show could be more suitable for an art safari: the subjects were in fact animals, insects and birds after vintage illustrations from natural history books and colonial painters.
The particularity was that all these artworks were realized in needlework, which means lace and nylon tulle arranged to form the images of animals.
All the pieces of this sort of collage were ties together by needles. Only coming closer to the artworks you can notice the needles, as well as the real nature of the different tulle.
That way the animals look stabbed, and at the same time the illusion of shape formed by the colourful patches is revealed.
My friend was fascinated by this coexistence of beauty and cruelness as well.

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I just come back from Perth, Western Australia. I was there for a reportage about the local contemporary art scene.
Before leaving I wrote this list to clarify my own ideas and to see what I learnt from my mistakes.
Maybe someone else could find it useful too.

“To be an art reporter is fun, but if you don’t plan everything in the details it can be very stressing.
If you are lucky someone, maybe the magazine you collaborate with, has sent you in foreign city or country to do an amazing five pages reportage about the local art scene. If you are extra lucky maybe your magazine would be also open to pay you for that.
But you know, even Oriana Fallaci and Martha Gellhorn would have an hard time to find good assignment nowadays.
Times are tougher and tougher, especially in the field of contemporary art.
If you’re an enterprising free lance journalist or art critic you can probably decide to make a project of your own and try to sell it later to magazines and newspaper. Maybe you can even make a book out of it.
Anyways remember to plan every step in advance.
1. Focus your research

The first thing you have to do is to focus your research. Maybe you are interested just in the painting scene of that city, or just in the hipster scene, or the influence of craft on contemporary art.
Or maybe you want to have a general picture, not very specific but quite thorough.
This second kind of macro reportage is the one I personally like the most. However my tips are valid also if you are conducting a more specific research.

2. Make a previous research on the city

Have a quick look of what other people already wrote about the art scene. Don’t exaggerate, it’s better to not build preconceptions based on what other people thinks. The best thing to do is read a novel or two set in the city you are going to visit. Have a look at a very general travel guide that gives you neutral information, like Lonely Planet or something like it.
If you find some catalogues of exhibition about artists from the city that you are going to visit, try to have a look at it.
If you know someone in your own city that has a link with the place you are going to visit, talk with them, either informally or with an interview.
If these people have a link to the art world is better, but don’t undervalue the impressions of friends or acquaintances disconnected from the scene.

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The italian web magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) just published the interview I had in Melbourne with the artist Danius Kesminas, member of the Indonesian Punk-Rock Band/ Art collective Punkasila. The interview is part of my reportage about Indonesian Contemporary Art.

Here you are the link to the interview

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Dysfunctional Camouflage right lo res

I was ready to go to the beach, but then I came to know about this “South Yarra Opening Day” from the mother of my boyfriend, who invited me to the event on Facebook.
Actually the mother of my boyfriend, at sixty seems to have a life much more cool than me, in my twenties. So, if my boyfriend’s mother suggested me to go to the South Yarra Opening Day, I should go.
I unpacked my beach stuff and I made up my mind for an afternoon of contemporary art.

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