With this exhibition the Palazzo delle Esposizioni celebrates the fifty year career of one of the most important contemporary photographers.
Mimmo Jodice was born in 1934 in Naples where he still lives today, growing up in the poor Sanità quarter.
His first photos date to the early sixties, and since then his work has been at the centre of intense activity, studded with the publication of numerous monographs and with countless exhibitions at a great many important venues worldwide.
The exhibition presents a rich corpus of black and white photographs shot between 1964 and 2009, collected in eight different sections each of which corresponds to one of the main themes that have engaged his commitment. Some have been completed while others are still being enhanced with new images.
Research and experimentation 1964 / 1978
The title given to the photographs of these years refers to the nomadic spirit in which the artist investigated the instruments of photography, juxtaposing them with other procedures: painting, but mainly the graphic technique of collage.
Social 1969 / 1978
Jodice did not miss the opportunity offered by photography as a tool for social inquiry, even as an expression of political commitment. Some of the images in this series were the fruit of collaboration with anthropologists, musicologists and town planners, such as the ones on religious rituals in Campania and the conditions of workers in the Terni steel mills.
Views of Naples 1978 / 1980
These images represent a milestone in the photographer's work. The human figure has disappeared altogether, while certain well known details of the Neapolitan cityscape, almost trite, unoriginal even, are translated in a disorienting way, with images that take on the efficacy of icons and have been identified by critics as "metaphysical".
Under this heading the artist has collected photos created over a long period of time, from 1980 onwards, in which architectonic or urbanistic spaces, bare of all human presence, are inhabited by enigmatic figures capable of revealing the surreal datum of everyday life.
A journey towards ancient Greek culture, its flourishing and its connections, undertaken in the mid eighties. An itinerary through different places and times, confirming the self-reflective character of Jodice's work which, with Mediterranean, returns to the origins of the artist's own culture. With these photographs, moreover, he experimented widely in the printing phase, underscoring the crucial role assigned to work in the darkroom.
Eden 1994 / 1997
It is on display a selection of the fifty-five photographs composing the Eden series, shot between 1994 and 1997: foodstuffs, windowdummies, utensils, apparently familiar and innocuous objects - as the artist defines them - which transform into living and estranging matter, charged with a powerful aggressiveness.
These photographs of beaches, islands and cliffs - shot from the late nineties onwards - are images distilled of all urbanistic or human presence, understood by the artist as interior landscapes, attempts at giving the world a timeless dimension.
The exhibition concludes with a collection that bears witness to the artist's most recent interests, in which the theme of nature becomes a further expression of his visionary disposition.
All the excerpts transcribed in the exhibition rooms are from texts by Mimmo Jodice.