Naima Morelli

Writing and contemporary art as a buisiness: 4 questions I asked myself


The other day I was reading this interesting interview on Design Sponge to business owner Jess Lively. Jess pointed out that there are four questions everyone should ask themselves before starting a business, or while running it. These question have subconsciously run into my mind all the time, but now I really wanted to put them “on paper”. The answer we give to these questions is ultimately what makes you keep going through a bad day and what can probably stop you making things half heartedly. It is a powerful reminder to do what you can with what you have and not be scared to figure things out along the way. Here my answers; I’m sure many arts writers and curators can relate to.

1. Why are you starting this business?

Because I love writing and connecting with people. What motivates me is a huge curiosity about the world and the human beings inhabiting it. I enjoy hearing people’s stories and retell them through my own writing. I’m usually enriched and energized by a good conversation, and at times also moved.  As a journalist and interviewer I always bear in mind the motto: “La vita è l’arte dell’incontro” (Life is the art of the encounter). As a curator I push this concept forward, fueling a dialogue between distant countries and cultures.  My focus is on contemporary art because I believe it is an aesthetic way to access the complexity of the world. Since I was a little girl I always though of myself as journalist and reporter. On top of that I always loved art. I keep on going after the same things, and I use writing and art as my lens to see life.

2. What unique point of view do you have to offer your industry?

I think my narrative/irreverent/gonzoish way of writing is quite peculiar, especially in contemporary art where many arts writers take things way too seriously. With my writing I like to get to the core of things, even if that means talking about something completely unrelated to the subject matter. I want entertain people and make contemporary art accessible for them, because really, art is nothing more that a simple human expression. If X men comics or a long digression about my uncle’s chickens can help you enjoy the work of Marina Abramovic, why not? On top of that, having significant experience across three different art scenes (Italy, Australia and Indonesia) I’m able to come out with a unexpected angles and connect these worlds in a meaningful way. Knowing the creative process firsthand, from graphic novels to graffiti – did I mentioned my three hours long busking career ? – I can easily relate with artists.

3. Who do you want to serve?

I want to serve both people who tell their stories and people who want hear these stories. I believe stories are what everything comes down to – go ask the ancient Greeks. I those who read my words will feel the same excitement I felt while researching the subject. I want to allow readers to explore themselves through my articles and find inspiration for their own life. Hopefully some of my writing will also encourage direct action or arouse interest in deepen a certain research or subject. I would also like to spur cultural dialogue between countries, creating tools for reciprocal understanding and filling cultural gaps. Art could be a powerful weapon to fight stereotypes and hate. And again, it allows to understand the world through beauty.

4. Are you willing to “just keep going” when things get really tough?

I sure am, because of my passion for this job. I won’t keep going just because I committed myself to the decision; to became a drought-horse just because of coherence doesn’t make any sense to me. I will be resilient instead. I know what’s the core and the purpose of what I want to do in my life, and I’m prepared to adjust the route or see my business change skin. The possibilities to fulfill my purpose are almost infinite. I’m learning to be selective and choose what it’s best in this present moment. I’m happy to make mistakes and learn things along the way. I already managed to transform miscalculations into opportunities in the past, so I know that nothing is irreparable if you are willing to keep going and see the opportunity concealed in every situation.


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