Curated by Ida Gianelli and Daniela Lancioni
9 April – 11 July 2010
The Palazzo delle Esposizioni is to devote a major anthological exhibition to Mimmo Jodice. Curated by Ida Gianelli and Daniela Lancioni, the show is designed to mark 50 years of activity on the part of this celebrated Italian photographer, who was born in Naples 75 years ago.
The exhibition will comprise some 180 photographs taken between 1964 and 2009, all in black and white and mainly hand-printed by the photographer himself. The first pictures that the visitor will encounter are Jodice’s Sperimentazioni [Experimenting], dating back to the sixties. At the time the photographer took these unique works, he was experimenting with photography’s expressive potential.
Thereafter, however, he turned his attention to social critique. Unlike the poetic work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jodice’s photographs in the social sphere are “finely crafted” and they include a moving series of pictures taken during the cholera epidemic in Naples. The human figure disappeared from Mimmo Jodice’s work in 1978. In Vedutedi Napoli [Views of Naples], the Neapolitan photographer’s work betrays a more distinctively radical approach. In these pictures, some of the better-known, indeed almost clichéd, Naples landmarks – the kind of thing you might expect to find on glossy picture-postcards - take on the metaphysical role of fullyfledged icons.
Here, and in his subsequent work in the collection entitled Rivisitazioni [Revisitations], Jodice no longer simply narrates reality; rather, he uses it as a springboard for self-analysis, revealing the surreal side of daily life. The next cycle, entitled Mediterraneo [Mediterranean], takes us up to the nineties.
These are some of the photographer’s best-known pictures, in which fragments or details of ancient ruins are enhanced by a gaze that reveals an almost magical, living presence in them. Equally and astonishingly alive are the photographs in the next section, entitled Eden: the photographer takes foodstuffs, maniquins, tools - all seemingly familiar, harmless objects - and transforms them under his own and our gaze into living, alienating matter imbued with a strong dose of aggressiveness.
This is followed by a section entitled Natura [Nature], where Jodice captures the visionary, alienating dimension of vegetation, whether wild or grown by man. The exhibition winds up with an extensive section devoted to his most recent work, entitled Mare [Sea] consisting of pictures of beaches, islands and rocks devoid of any human or man-made presence, a kind of “interior landscape” that imbues our world with a final timeless dimension. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue edited by Ida Gianelli and published by Federico Motta Editore.