“I am not someone who takes photographs; I am someone who looks.” Mimmo Jodice
Vistamarestudio is pleased to present Mimmo Jodice: Open City/ Open Work, curated by Douglas Fogle, the first exhibition at the gallery in Milano, that makes a direct link between Jodice’s earliest experiments with photography in the mid 1960s and his first foray into his native Napoli.
‘Mimmo Jodice produces things that we commonly call photographs. But is he a photographer? Perhaps we can better think of him as a seer who happens to use a camera in his exploration of the world. Jodice has spent the better part of the past six decades using his camera to see the world from a number of diverse perspectives. His earliest forays into the medium in the mid-1960s display a subversive fascination with the material qualities of photography – the almost alchemical properties of photographic paper, developing chemicals, enlargers and the other acoutrements of the photographers dark room.
Indeed, his first images are nothing short of experiments with these properties in an attempt to create what Umberto Eco described in 1962 as “open works” rather than any kind of orthodox and fixed documentary reproduction of the world. Their openness in both their form and content renders them available to multiple interpretations but also to an experimental poetics that is both avant garde and strangely human. Mimmo Jodice: Open City/Open Work makes a direct link between Jodice’s earliest experiments with photography – his torn and recombined architectural landscapes for example – and his first foray into “seeing” his native Napoli in his series The Theatricality of Everyday Life in Naples which he undertook in the early 1970s.
These images of Naples veer toward the anthropological – photographs of rituals, festivals, mental institutions, factories, etc. – before changing course and opening into a poetics of architectonic forms and the people who inhabit them. Form and content entwine and fold together in these works as Jodice sees the city as a living, breathing organism but also as a structure full of angles, diverse materials and a visual poetics of everyday life.’
Mimmo Jodice was born in Naples in 1934. Self-taught, avant-guarde artist since the Sixties, he approached photography by experimenting the different expressive possibilities of the medium. He had a key role in the cultural debate that led to the affirmation of Italian photography Internationally. His work has been exhibited in numerous Museums worlwide. Recent solo exhibitions include: Museo Eretz, Tel Aviv, 2018; Madre, Naples 2016; Städtische Museen Jena, Jena 2013; Louvre Museum, Paris 2011; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris 2009; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome 2009; Museo di Capodimonte, Naples 1988 & 2008; Spazio Forma – Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan 2007; MART – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento and Rovereto, 2004; MASP – Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, 2004; The Museum of Photography, Moscow 2004.
In 2003 his name was included in the encyclopedia Treccani, received the award ‘Antonio Feltrinelli’ from Accademia dei Lincei, in 2006 the Degree Honoris Causa in Architecture from the University Fedeirco ll of Naples, in 2011 the honor of ‘Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ from the French Minister of Culture and in 2013 the Degree Honoris Causa in Architecture from the University of Italian Switzerland. He lives and works in Naples.
Douglas Fogle is an independent curator and writer based in Los Angeles. His most recent projects include an exhibition with the designers BLESS at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles in July 2018, Mike Kelley: Fortress of Solitude for NEON Foundation at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens in 2017 and the exhibition Andy Warhol: Dark Star at Museo Jumex in Mexico City in 2017. From 2009-2012 he served as Deputy Director, Exhibition and Programs and Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles where he organized a variety of exhibitions including Ed Ruscha: On the Road, (2011), All of this and nothing (2011), Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrences/Documented Assignments (2010), and Luisa Lambri: Being there (2010). Previously, he served as curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh from 2005-2009 where he organized Life on Mars, the 55th Carnegie International in 2008. Fogle was also a curator in the Visual Arts Department of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis from 1994-2005 where he curated a wide array of exhibitions such as Painting at the Edge of the World (2001), The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982 (2003), Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters 1962-1964 (2005), and solo exhibitions with Catherine Opie and Julie Mehretu. Also a writer, he has published widely in books, exhibition catalogues and journals such as Artforum, Flash Art, Parkett, and frieze.