Museo MADRE, Naples

MADRE MUSEUM | Via Settembrini 79
80139 Naples

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press release

The Madre museum in Naples is pleased to announce Attesa. 1960–2016, the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition ever dedicated to the artistic research of Mimmo Jodice (Naples, 1934), one of the undisputed masters of contemporary photography. The exhibition, curated by Andrea Viliani, presents more than 100 works, from the seminal experiments with photographic language conducted in the '60s and '70s down to a final series "Attesa" (Waiting, 2015), produced specially for this retrospective project. Set within a unique exhibit design, this survey intertwines all Jodice's major series, in which the principal aspects and themes of his 50 years of research are articulated. By linking the ancient Mediterranean civilizations to the contemporary megalopolises—travelling from the temples of Palmyra to the skyscrapers of New York—Jodice explores the persistence of the past in the identity of the present, reveals the epiphanies of everyday life embodying an archetypical anthropology of common objects, fills the void between the dimension of chronicle and the tension towards abstraction. A section of the exhibition is also devoted to the social matrix and civil commitment of his works produced in the '70s, shown as a new cinematic projection: Teatralità quotidiana a Napoli (Everyday Theatricality in Naples, 2016). In all his works, which have contributed to the definition of developments in international contemporary photography, Jodice outlines a dimension placed beyond spatial coordinates or the flowing of time, suspended in the experience, both physical and metaphysical, empirical and contemplative, of waiting. A waiting that is also the mastery of a strictly analogical practice of photography: waiting in the patient research of the lighting, often in the early morning, capable of detecting the essence of the subject represented, or waiting in the equally patient balancing of details and nuances in the dark room. What emerges is the ineffable eternity and absolute clarity of black and white images rendered by the revelatory gaze of a camera that becomes a "time machine," or rather that surpasses the time. While celebrating humanity and observing the world around us in all its sensory expressions, it achieves an overt and constant reinvention of photography itself, enhancing its representative and cognitive potential beyond a purely documentary interpretation of photographic practice. In its various linked sections, the exhibition evokes a circular space-time, cyclically returning on itself, on its foundational reasons and its inspirational motives, out of which emerges a true "photographic reality."