Naima Morelli

Tag "popolo"

I was invited to write a short curatorial text on the work of the Palermitan photographer Ornella Mazzola for the exhibition “PALERMO DENTRO ” held at Palm Beach Hotel, Cinisi, Sicily. Ornella is a talented friend and colleague and I highly recommend to check out her website – or even better visit the exhibition, if you happen to spend these last warm weeks in Sicily. The show will be open to the public from the 19th of September to the 24th of October. Below my text in English and Italian.

“Palermo Dentro”

Are the people making the places, ore the places making the people? In the series Palermo Inside by Ornella Mazzola, we go back to the chicken and egg paradox. There is no right of way, because people and places become inextricably linked. For the inhabitants of the most working class neighbourhoods in the city’s historic center – Kalsa, Albergheria, Borgo vecchio, Vucciria, Ballarò and La Marina – boldness fights with resignation. The People is actually made up of a myriad of stories that intersect, while maintaining their singularity. You see that in a gesture of woman, maybe aggressive, perhaps reluctant. In solitary play of children in silent spaces. In the foosball on a sultry summer afternoon. Ornella is able to crystallize a series of habits that constitute the soul of the city as much as their own buildings. Here human beings shows themselves in their theatricality. The city is a stage from which mysterious figures emerge, like a premonition. In the end, what everything comes down to is that you can take the people out of Palermo, but you can’t take Palermo out of the people.  

Read More


My article “An insight into South-Italian culture through the art of Angelo Formica” has just been published on the web magazine Global Comment.
This is my second article for this web-magazine. What I’m aiming at with this long-winded articles is to show how contemporary art can be an invaluable tool to investigate topical issues of modern society with a global perspective.

Here’s the link to the article

Read More


Che cos’è il Popolo?
Ci sono solo due modi possibili per rispondere a questa domanda, o chiamare in causa studi antropologici del tipo Fabio Dei, Cirese, De Martino, oppure argomentare con l’arte.
L’una comprensione è intellettuale (vi parleranno di società dei consumi, snaturalizzazione bisogni, egemonizzazione e compagnia), l’altra parla direttamente ad un sentire.
Il lavoro di Angelo Formica, che ho avuto modo di beccare alla fiera Rome Contemporary, va esattamente in quella direzione.

Con un’operazione surrealisticamente a supportare un significato, anzi un’identità, quella popolare più precisamente, Formica gioca con i simboli della tradizione.
Il suo background siciliano (è originario di Milazzo) l’ha immerso fin da bambino in un humus culturale che è riuscito a rielaborare solo una volta trasferitosi a Milano, recuperando quel necessario distacco.
Un po’ come Jorge Amado, grandissimo scrittore del Popolo, il quale riusciva a narrare del suo natio Brasile solo quando si trovava a Parigi.

Read More


In the chaos of an art fair is usually quite difficult to find some art work that attracts you straightaway. So was at the Roma Road to Contemporary Art Fair at MACRO Testaccio.
Actually, there was an exception.

Coming from Sorrento, a picturesque town near Naples, I was quite influenced by all the traditions, all the sort of stuff coming from people. The “Popolo”.
I never stop questioning about it. What is the Popolo? Does the Popolo really exist nowadays? What are the features of the Popolo?
From Jorge Amado to Pasolini, I enjoy the subject, that eventually became the topic of my thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts.

There’s one thing that a particularly like about the Popolo. It is how they mix the religion and the sacred with everyday life and how they show it through the objects.
Angelo Formica, the exception in the art fair I was talking about, takes this concept to the extreme with his artworks.

Read More