Gazelli Art House is delighted to announce the first UK solo exhibition of multi-award-winning artist and photographer Francesco Jodice (Naples, 1967). Following Jodice’s solo museum retrospective at CAMERA — Centro Italiano per la Fotografia*, Cabaret Voltaire will highlight four separate bodies of work all encompassing participation, networking, anthropometry, storytelling and investigation. Each of these series investigates particular regions or precise moments in our recent history with an aim to answer the artist’s social and cultural questions and contemporary geopolitical scenario. Jodice is intrigued by what is about to happen, what paradoxically has already happened: the emergence of a new phenomenon in culture is the aftereffect of something that we have, more less consciously, premeditated.
The gallery will feature a selection from What We Want, an ongoing photography series of 150 metropolises around the world that Jodice has been making since 1996. The gradually expanding archive is composed of photos and text with the aim of comparing landscapes of those countries undergoing economic, political change, blending together the languages of humanist photography, geopolitics, topography, conceptual art, montage and writing, in the quest for a comprehensive view. This project acts as a global atlas in which physical and political geography begin to drift apart, looking at the roots of a growing tendency to transform space dependent on the fears and desires of the people who inhabit it, rather than finding ways of adapting to its primary features.
The 2015 film, Atlante, will be playing in the small room on the ground floor. The moving imagery alternates between The Farnese Atlas*, archival footage of World War I, life in the US suburbs in the ‘50s, and American advertisements from the ‘80s. Through synecdoche, the film blends together the paradigms and contradictions of the Short Century, prompting reflection on the decline of the West.
Sunset Boulevard, Jodice’s most recent project, will be displayed on the first floor of the gallery. This body of work investigates the last great Western empire. Jodice rediscovers and captures ‘The American West’ with traces of its magical geological history and recent colonisation such as Hollywood, nuclear testing, and militarisation. The works aim to understand the American ‘long century’ and present an archaeology of the present that is already past.
On select evenings, the gallery will be screening Citytellers, which comprises three films, shot in Dubai*, Aral* and São Paulo* respectively. The trilogy explores the transformations of today’s megalopolises, particularly in terms of new social, political, economic and religious phenomena, and observes the changes that have taken place and reflect on questions like self-organisation, the disappearance of the great idealistic movements of the 20th century, environmental disasters, and new forms of slavery. The films use the grammar of documentary, the aesthetics of cinema and the principles of storytelling to build a system of channels between contemporary art and mass communication and to offer a clear and simple view of a specific phenomenon: the imminent future that was already present in the most recent past.
The aim of Jodice’s practice, and what is clear from these works, is to understand the world’s constant changes and share these discoveries through his art.
Notes to Editors :
Panorama (CAMERA, 11 May – 14 August 2016), curated by Francesco Zanot, was the first overview on the career of photographer and filmmaker Francesco Jodice with a focus on the process behind his research and work over the past 20 years.
The Farnese Atlas is a 2nd-century Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of Atlas kneeling with the celestial spheres, not a globe, weighing heavily on his shoulders. It is the oldest extant statue of the Titan of Greek mythology, who is represented in earlier vase-painting, and more important, the oldest known representation of the celestial sphere.
Dubai Citytellers shows a city which has been chosen by the international community as a strategic hub for world economy, while also one of the founding centres of new slavery policies.
Aral Citytellers highlights the devastations of The Aral Sea located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which is considered one of the biggest environmental disasters in human history.
Sao Paulo Citytellers presents in a “film noir” style a future for Sao Paulo: a new economy, alternative jobs, a new way of life, stories on the fear of abduction, aggression, and violence, which prompted the richer classes to use helicopter as taxis.
About the Artist:
Francesco Jodice was born in Naples in 1967. He lives in Milan. His art explores the transforming social landscape of our time, with a particular focus on urban anthropological phenomena and the creation of new participatory processes. His projects are aimed at building a common ground between art and geopolitics, presenting artistic practice as a form of civil poetics.
He is on the faculty of the MA programs in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies and Photography and Visual Design at NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, and of Scuola Holden in Turin. He was among the founders of the Multiplicity and Zapruder groups. He has been in major group exhibitions such as Documenta, the Venice Biennale, the São Paulo Biennial, the ICP Triennial in New York, and has shown his work at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Tate Modern in London and the Prado in Madrid. His main projects include What We Want, a photographic atlas; The Secret Traces, an archive of urban experiments in shadowing; and Citytellers, a film trilogy about new forms of urbanization. His most recent works—Atlante, American Recordings and Sunset Boulevard—explore the future of the ‘Western World’.