Naima Morelli

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alasdair1
My interview with Aussie artist Alasdair McLuckie has just been published on Trouble Magazine with the title “Modernism on Gertrude”. The interview is part of my reportage about emerging artists in Melbourne and it’s my eighth feature on Trouble!

Here the link to the interview

Here the link to the online version of the magazine

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The new exhibition season in Rome is kicking off with a promising show entitled SHOUT! which will be held in MACRO from September – November 2014 in conjunction with the film festival Asiatica Film Mediale.
The show is curated by Singapore-based curator Santy Saptari and Bryan Collie, director of Melbourne’s MiFA Gallery and features artists Aditya Novali, Andita Purnama, Angki Purbandono Bestrizal Besta, Erika Ernawan, Gatot Pujiarto, Maria Indra Sari, Sigit Santoso, I Gusti Ngrurah Udiatara, Tantin, Yudi Sulisto and Gusmen Heriadi.
Yesterday I sneaked inside the MACRO to take some pictures of the artists setting up the show and have a chat with them. Here’s a preview of what you will see from the 26th of September:

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jake1

My interview with Melbourne-based Kiwi painter Jake Walker has just been published on Trouble Magazine. The interview is part of my reportage about artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

Here the link to the online version of the magazine

jake2

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live1
I remember one beautiful evening few years ago in Rome. I was walking with my new friend Francesco, a mime just met at Cinema Trevi. Quite strangely for a mime, he was a chatterbox. I thought that was because he couldn’t talk on stage, so that was his way to vent. Since I just came back from an opening at Gagosian gallery, I was wearing red lipstick, a little back dress and red shoes. Francesco and I keep on whirling in the street paved with cobblestones and he said: “You know what the beauty of life is? That you can live wherever you want. You just have to choose a city, and you can move there anytime.” Then he went on telling me about when he was my age – twenty-one at the time – and he moved to Spain by himself. He was working in a bar near the beach, studying as an actor at the same time. He also told me about that time that he saved a girl abused by a group of guys – an anecdote he clearly unsheathed to impress me. Aside from that, the beautiful thing about Francesco was his constant excitement and exaggerated optimism. He could have been banal and cliché in his representation of happiness, fancying sunsets on the beach and the like, but he was still infusing me merriness and even a little inspiration.

Over the years I kept on asking myself: Is that true? Can you really pick a city you like and decide to move there on the whim?

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There is a mesmerizing Patti Smith’s song I used to listen to when I was in my teens. It’s called “Land” and tells – in a very surreal way – the story of this guy called Johnny. Since the chord progression wasn’t too complicatedly, I quickly learned to play it on the guitar. There was a particular line that made me pretty excited when I sang it. It was “I hold the key to the sea of possibilities”.

When I was seventeen I had a number of small abilities, but very little how-to knowledge.
My guitar practice alone branched off into my folk Neapolitan repertoire, my intimate Carla Bruni-like songs and my love for punk rock. These three aesthetics were not conflicting to me. That was confirmed by reading on a magazine that Norah Jones also had a punk band. I thought, if she does it, why I shouldn’t? (Well, if you have ever heard me singing and playing, the answer is pretty straightforward).

Way before I would learn the position for a E chord, I was making been comic books. Since I was born, I have never stopped drawing and creating stories. As often happens, I started making comic books since I was in high school and my school mates were my first readers. Never in my life I considered to stop that. Then of course, there was the writing. I was that annoying kid asked by the teacher to stand up and read her essay out loud. I didn’t really like to do that, mostly because my pulp Tarantino-confronts-Romero-on-the-theme-of-abortion like essays were meant to be read with a little verve. Which I completely lacked of . Anyways, at eighteen I started writing for an art magazine and a number of rock and general publications. Around the same time, I started covering every blank spot I could find in the city with graffiti. Man, that was real fun!

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When people ask me about my routine, what I can say is that it is constantly changing. After an intense July, I’m finally back in uneventful Sorrento, Italy, and I couldn’t be happier about it. In sultry Rome I was super-busy setting up the screening of Indonesian video art, so I wasn’t really able to keep a routine, which was good. In fact, my modus operandi entails intense and exciting weeks, followed by weeks of just concentrating getting the “offstage” work done. Which means a solid 8 hours a day. Then I grow restless and I leave for the next adventure. I also like the idea that thanks to the internet you can work remotely to your next mission. There is something inherently powerful in working from a remote costal town in Italy, contacting artists and magazines from all over the world. So that’s how an ideal July-August workday looks like for me (if I manage to retain myself from playing guitar all day)

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At the beginning of 2012 I started making research about Indonesian contemporary art and now I’m excited to had the chance to introduce some of these amazing artists to an Italian public through “Indonesia – Orienti Visioni Contemporanee” , a series of screening of video art in Villa Ada’s Art Project Space.
For this screening, part of MNAO Contemporary program, I wanted to show three completely different approaches to video art, presenting new-media pioneers Krisna Murti and Tintin Wulia, and the most irreverent bunch of punks in the whole Asia-Pacific, namely Punkasila and Slave Pianos.
Despite the title of the program, I tried to steer away from any kind of representation of “Indonesianess”. Krisna Murti makes an aesthetically mesmerizing observation on traditions slowly fading away. On the other hand, Tintin Wulia’s way of working goes beyond her nationality, in fact she works around the concept of nation and national boundaries itself. Punkasila and Slave Pianos, joining forces just like a crossover from some comic book, give space to their wildest fantasies, imagining an alien invasion starting from Java.
So, here a preview of what you will see this week if you happen to pass by the Art Project Space in Villa Ada.

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Dal 14 al 2o Luglio curerò una rassegna di video arte indonesiana nell’ambito del Festival di Villa Ada. L’iniziativa è stata organizzata da MNAO Contemporary, il programma di arte contemporanea del Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale Giuseppe Tucci di Roma, e si focalizza su diversi paesi asiatici. L’inaugurazione è domani sera dalle 9 in poi… intanto beccatevi il comunicato!

Villa Ada Festival Roma Incontra il Mondo presenta…

“ORIENTI – VISIONI CONTEMPORANEE”
Programma di video-proiezioni ed installazioni di artisti contemporanei asiatici diretto da Valentina Gioia Levy, con la collaborazione di Elena Abbiatici e Naima Morelli

Presso l’Art Project Space
Adagio Bar
A partire dal 4 luglio
INDONESIA 14 – 20 Luglio

A cura di Naima Morelli
14 – Presentazione scena artistica indonesiana e introduzione al lavoro dei tre artisti in mostra.

15/16 – Krisna Murti – Empty Theather – Video installation (multi-channel video), DVD 3 projections, 3’58’’, loop, sound, 2010.

17/18 – Fallen –Tintin Wulia – Video projection (single-channel), 18’43”, loop, 2011

19/20 – The Lepidopters – Slave Pianos and Punkasila – Video projection (single-channel), loop, 2014
Proiezioni dalle 21 in poi
Per la settimana dedicata all’Indonesia verranno proiettati tre video che rappresentano alcune sfaccettature della complessa e variegata scena artistica locale in rapido sviluppo.
Krisna Murti e Tintin Wulia sono pionieri della video arte in Indonesia. Entrambi cominciano a lavorare con i new media all’alba della caduta del regime del dittatore Suharto nel ’98, in un clima di libertà espressiva fino a quel momento negato.
Punkasila invece è un gruppo artistico nato a Yogyakarta nel 2007 da una residenza all’Indonesian Visual Art Archive, allora Yayasan Seni Cemeti, di Danius Kesminas. Il gruppo originale di Punkasila conta sette giovani artisti indonesiani più Kesminas, ma è costantemente in espansione e aperto a nuove collaborazioni, tra cui quella con Slave Pianos per questo video.

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emily1

The Australian art magazine Trouble has  just published the interview I had in Melbourne with painter Emily Ferretti. The interview is part of my reportage about emerging artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

Here the link to the online version of the magazine

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benjamin
The Italian web magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) has  just published the interview I had in Rome with artist Benjamin Skepper with the title “Benjamin Skepper, l’olandese tra Australia, Tokio, Russia, resto del mondo e bellezza. L’intervista”. The interview is part of my reportage about artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

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For the “Nothing happened since yesterday – Due Artisti da Melbourne” exhibition, I organized a talk at Accademia di Belle Arti Roma – aka Rome’s Art Academy – with the two exhibiting artists.
The talk was hosted by Prof. Isabella Tirelli and was meant to fuel a discussion with the students about the path of artists after art school. I thought that the experience of Kenny Pittock and Georgina Lee could have been interesting for the students. To start as emerging artist in Melbourne is certainly easier in Rome, thanks also to a very tight community and the presence of artist-run space. I hoped that by comparing the Australian art system to the Italian one, the students could have been inspired and come with new ideas for their own art environment.
I started the talk by introducing the Australian context and my research on the Melbourne art scene. Then Kenny and Georgina went on talking about their own work.
I’m happy about the outcome of the talk. Some students asked about the conceptual process of making work, some others inquired about how an Italian artist could start exhibiting in Australia. Georgina replied very clearly to all the questions and Kenny made even the more impassible students laugh. A student called Francesco even made a drawing of Georgina and Kenny and gave to them as a gift!

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“Nothing’s happened since Yesterday – Due artisti da Melbourne” is going to open tomorrow at Galleria 291est in Rome and we are super-excited. These days have been pretty busy for exhibiting artists Georgina Lee and Kenny Pittock; I dragged them to gallery and vernissage all over Rome, yesterday we had a talk at the Art Academy (pics soon on this blog) and most importantly they have installed their work in the gallery. On the second day both artists showed up at Galleria 291est sporting “I love Rome” t-shirts. Kenny was so in love with his t-shirt to the point that he refused to change it even for the ultra-posh opening in Villa Medici, the French Academy. That’s the best part of being an artist after all, you can wear whatever the hell you want and no one can tell you anything!
The whole setting-up process has been filmed by Mauro Piccinini of Hour Interview, a great video series that catches snippets of artists’ working day. I’m super curious to see the result! If you are in Rome in these days, come visit us for the opening tomorrow!

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