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closed West by Francesco Jodice

The show

The exhibition includes 20 photographs by Francesco Jodice, from the collections of the Mufoco Museum of Contemporary Photography, presented for the first time in Italy. The exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of the last great Western empire in a period of time between the start of the Gold Rush (1848) and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (2008). Traveling in three long journeys, carried out between 2014 and 2022, one of the oldest geological structures on the planet, Francesco Jodice rereads a part of our history through a visual repertoire of myths and ruins, utopias, mirages and failures.

Archeology of a present that is already past. California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, with the inclusion of the contiguous Mexican areas are some of the states where the gold rush took place, territories crossed by Francesco Jodice for his articulated WEST research project. The fulcrum of the entire work is found in the crossroads between the peculiar geology of this area and the archaeological ruins (mines, ghost towns, utopias, abandoned complexes and infrastructures) of a season animated by an unstoppable desire for immediate riches. Jodice's photographic works on display are accompanied by a series of texts and archival images, "cultural minerals and debris" as defined by the artist, relating to the economic, geological, political and cultural history of the American century, which constitute the theoretical and poetic bases of the project. The work Atlante (2015), the first chapter of a video trilogy that Jodice dedicated to the American Century and which was partially created in the Sala della Meridiana of the MANN, completes the exhibition project and creates a further short circuit in the spaces of the Museum.

The relationship between the WEST project and the exhibition space, with the staging of a visual archeology of modern Western culture, contributes to re-discussing the very notion of archaeology, in both spatial and temporal terms, in tune with the most current debate of discipline. At the same time, it fuels a dialogue between the visual expressions of the past and those of the contemporary to which the MANN dedicates great attention within its temporary exhibition programs. The exhibition will be accompanied by the volume published by Electa, which will present the entire corpus of WEST , consisting of 70 images. The WEST artistic project was supported by the Italian Council (X edition, 2021), a program for the international promotion of Italian art of the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture. It was created by Mufoco Museum of Contemporary Photography with the collaboration of Galerie Le Château d'Eau (Toulouse, FR) and arc en rêve center d'architecture (Bordeaux, FR).


Timetable and tickets


Piazza Museo n.18/19
80135 Naples


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