“Panorama” is the first overview on the career of photographer and filmmaker Francesco Jodice (Napoli, 1967).
The exhibit, curated by Francesco Zanot, offers the widest selection of Jodice’s works ever presented: more than twenty years of eclectic art, from an artist who does not shy away from using all available contemporary means for expression – alternating between photography, videos and installations – in his ongoing study of the contemporary geopolitical scenario and its social and urbanistic implications.
Panorama is about the process behind Francesco Jodice’s research and work: the whole exhibit is filled to the brim with the artist’s favourite topics and the thoughts and reasons behind his whole body of work. The setup draws the viewer in, showing the process behind the birth of all works and highlighting all that comes before – and shapes – the final product. Striking a fine balance between theory and practice, Jodice’s modus operandi is vital to all of the artist’s projects: they express the force and motivation behind the works, often found in the oeuvres themselves but sometimes only discernible from the first stages of production.
The Panorama on exhibit is therefore not only the geopolitical one: it also encompasses the whole of Jodice’s methods, through which his research becomes apparent. A whole slew of maps, books, newspaper clippings, backstage images, auditions, interviews, videos and much more, now shown on a 40-meter long, modular table in CAMERA’s hallway.
Out of Francesco Jodice’s whole oeuvre, six exemplary projects have been selected that span his whole career from the very beginning, highlighting both the artist’s consistency and his eclecticism. It’s a grand overview, a twenty year journey that holds, at its core, the themes of involvement, networking, anthropometry, storytelling and investigation. Those are wide and complex topics, yet not out of the ordinary for an indefatigable traveller such as Jodice, whose works speak of a world both close and far away. The 150 metropolises depicted in What We Want – a photographic atlas on the evolution of the social landscape, started in 1996 and still ongoing – have more in common than they have differences. The same goes for the people he followed for his 1996-1997’s work The Secret Traces and the three case studies from Citytellers (2006, 2010), a series of films on emblematic geopolitical contexts.
Ritratti di classe (“Class pictures”, 2005-2009) is an in-depth exploration on the current state of culture and society in Italy, as seen through the lenses of end year class photography. The Room (2009-2016) is a bold statement, a whole year in the life of this country narrated through newspaper pages, all but covered in black paint – the state of our contemporary age summarized by a few, symbolic words in a pitch-black room. Solid Sea (2002), the result of a collaboration with the Multiplicity collective, originally presented in Documenta 11 and now proposed again in an ad hoc staging, turns the Mediterranean Sea into solid space – the only steady border in an age where national identities mean less and less. Panorama is an exhibit on an artist whose oeuvre is paramount for the documentation and understanding of the changes in our world’s scenarios – both imaginary and real. As such, it re-establishes art to its former status: a means for social commitment.