‘Senza Tempo’: Mimmo Jodice’s Photos at Villa Bardini

A detail of Jodice’s ‘Tomb of Lorenzo de’Medici’ in the tribute to Michelangelo section

Until July 14: ‘SENZA TEMPO,’  PHOTOS BY MIMMO JODICE.  Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2.  Open 10 am – 9 pm.  Admission €10, reduced €5.  There is now free shuttle bus service to Villa Bardini, click here to see an article.

Neapolitan photographer Mimmo Jodice creates a wondrous atmosphere to be admired at his exhibition, “Senza Tempo” at Villa Bardini. Through the use of various forms of photographic art, Jodice explores the concept of lighting and exposure in relation to his subjects, capturing timeless visions meant to supersede those of reality.

Producing almost 95% of his works in only black and white, and with a film camera, Jodice has spent most of his life in a darkroom. There, under the cover of darkness, he was able to manipulate the lighting and shadows of each photo, testing the limits of the film paper and his own artistic abilities. These manipulations are seen all throughout this new exhibition, presented for the first time in Florence.

In the first section of his exhibition located on the first floor, Jodice pays homage to the famous Italian sculptor Michelangelo, displaying a room of photographs in which he attempts to analyze the meaning behind Michelangelo’s works, along with his own personal interpretations. Each image plays with the lighting of the sculptures, casting some parts in the shadows while basking other more prominent features in the light. This portion of the display takes Jodice’s audience on a journey through Italy’s dramatic historical past, first carved into three-dimensional works and then displayed on two-dimensional surfaces.

The second floor of the exhibition is dedicated to 80 of Jodice’s works (1964-2011), divided into six different categories “Anamnesi,” “Linguaggi,” “Vedute di Napoli,” “Città,” “Natura,” and “Mari.” Walking through each section, the viewers find themselves surrounded by images of statuary faces, city buildings, inanimate objects, and natural environments. With each new theme, Jodice attempts to convey his chaotic emotions while photographing each subject; restlessness and anxiety in “Vedute di Napoli,” aggression and discomfort in “Natura.”

Perhaps Jodice’s most notable photographs lie in the sector titled “Mari,” a time capsule for oceanic photographs that seem to quite literally stand still in time. For the Neapolitan, the sea is an ever-present, unavoidable subject – one where dreams and reality meet. This positive and personal outlook is seen throughout the section, each image displaying the effect of long exposure through the almost fog-like consistency of the sea. In these photographs, the theme of timelessness truly comes to life in Jodice’s capture of a subject that has already seen many centuries and will see many more to come.

But after almost 50 years working in darkrooms, Jodice is ready to leave that life behind. In his documentary displayed in the exhibition and directed by Mario Martone, Jodice claims he wants to start anew, leaving behind the world of black and white film to start again from scratch in the fresh, open air. But while Jodice’s time of creating film images might be over, it will be forever encapsulated in his exhibition “Senza Tempo” (Vinnie Wilson).