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Mimmo Jodice (ph. Stefano Casati)

text Francesca Lombardi

April 12, 2024

Mimmo Jodice's works on display in Florence

Until July 14 at Villa Bardini eighty works chronicling the extraordinary career of one of the great masters of Italian photography

Mimmo Iodice’s extraordinary images come to Florence for the first time: Villa Bardini presentsMimmo Jodice. Senza tempo until 14 July. Curated by Roberto Koch, after Lisetta Carmi this is the second instalment of the Gallerie d’Italia project La grande fotografia italiana, which pays homage to our great 20th-century photographers. The Florence exhibition is enriched by a new section dedicated to images of Michelangelo’s Florentine works, brought out of the photographer’s archives after 30 years: the frowning face of Brutus, the composure of the Madonna in the Pitti Tondo, the intensity of Day, Night, Dusk and Dawn on the Medici Tombs, but also details of the bodies of the Prisoners, the Palestrina Pietà and the Pietà Bandini.

Mimmo Jodice (ph. Stefano Casati)

A story of light caressing the surface of marble, photographed during the 1980s. These images were only displayed in 1990 in Palazzo Serra di Cassano, Naples. The exhibition is accompanied by a documentary about the artist’s life, made by his friend and fellow Neapolitan, writer and director Mario Martone.

On display are 80 works created between 1964 and 2011, which trace the most important stages of Jodice’s art; they are divided into the sections Anamnesis, Languages, Views of Naples, City, Nature, Sea. From the series of sculpted faces and ancient mosaics commissioned by architect Gae Aulenti for the Naples metro station museum, to darkroom experiments from the 60s, in which the rules of photographic language are overturned, their boundaries pushed and exceeded.


In the Views of Naples section, meanwhile, we find all the artist’s anxiety in enigmatic, indecipherable scenes in a suspended, rarefied time of emptiness and absence. The examination of Jodice’s city is merely a starting point that hones his gaze for future trips to other urban landscapes in Boston, Paris, São Paolo, Rome, Milan and Tokyo. In contrast to this narrative is Nature; aggressive and unwelcoming, it arouses a sense of unease that forces the viewer to regard the world around us differently. Finally, the Sea, where the photographer’s time appears to come to a definitive halt. Jodice spends hours watching it, finding the dimension of the absolute in its apparent flatness, the circular motion of the waves breaking on the shore, the repetitiveness of natural movement.

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