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17 August 2008

Mimmo Jodice – Lost in seeing. Dreams and visions of Italy

  Only someone with Mimmo Jodice’s enormous experience – his tried and tested knowledge of photography’s infinite facets and possibilities, his endlessly introspective exploration of the notion of territory – could have achieved this recreation of quintessential Italy and the aura of its unique artistic heritage. Mimmo Jodice is fond of quoting Fernando Pessoa’s ‘But what was I thinking about before getting lost in seeing?’ These words, he feels, were written for him as a precise description of his ability to give himself up to seeing and imagining in an ongoing quest for what lies beyond reality.

The 172 photographs making up this exhibition, many of them hitherto unshown, represent no less than thirty years’ work. From Turin to Trieste, from Bolzano to Stromboli, the entire Italian peninsula unfurls majestically: here the forgotten monuments, gardens, backyards and constantly shifting urban scenery of Milan, Rome and Naples are rediscovered and reinterpreted by a maestro of black and white who has never ceased his meditation on the mysteries of Mediterranean light.

In her essay on the Neapolitan photographer, Alessandra Mauro makes the observation that ‘In Jodice’s work silence takes over places and the photographs become metaphysical visions, an interweaving of the signs of the past as they return to inhabit the present’. What he offers in Lost in Seeing is the possibility of preserving, in our heart of hearts, a mutely poetic trace of what Italy has always inspired in those who seek to catch her essence.

Texts by Francine Prose, Alessandra Mauro and Roberta Valtorta.

Exhibition venue: Magasin Électrique, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2008.