Francesco Jodice

In the year of the US presidential election, “Prospettive. L’economia delle immagini” presents for the first time in Italy WEST, a project in progress by Francesco Jodice. Among monumental geological formations and symbols of Western civilization, the exhibition goes through the main stages of the iconographic map drawn by the artist and unveils the mechanisms of construction of the American dream. In his four trips through the great WEST, Jodice concentrates the “Rise and Fall” of the american century, 150 years of history from the beginning of the gold rush to the financial collapse in 2008.

The series takes its cue from two events that marked the first decade of the new millennium: the attack against the Twin Towers in 2001 and the collapse of Lehman in 2008, with their load of suffering and anxiety about the very future of the American model.  Francesco Jodice takes his inspiration from these two dramatic events and their political, economic, cultural and social consequences for a personal re-reading of the American reality and imaginary. 

West is an observation platform on the last great Western empire. Here, vicissitudes and postulates of American history, from the gold rush to the recent financial catastrophe, are scrutinised. The 49ers and white-collar workers are the main protagonists of the opening and closing phases of this parable, featuring an endless series of characters who help to tell of its splendours and aberrations, from the cowboys to the Indians, from rock stars to actors, via explorers, gangsters, bodybuilders, intellectuals, artists, presidents and astronauts.

The American West, from the Pacific coast to the deserts, is the main stage of this investigation. Francesco Jodice crosses it and photographs it, rediscovering the traces of a majestic geological antiquity (the Western Plateau was the first tectonic plate to emerge on the planet) and those of recent colonisation (Hollywood, NASA, Westerns, Blade Runner, militarisation, nuclear testing…), the spectre of some of the harshest conditions of the contemporary world.

All this is West: a journey to the end of the heroic saga of liberalism; a handbook for the reading and understanding of the American ‘long century’; and a gaze cast forward towards the post-Fordist and post-Western era.

Francesco Zanot

Project by:
Tosetti Value per l’Arte

Scientific supervision:
Walter Guadagnini

In collaboration with:
Gazelli Art House
Galleria Michela Rizzo
Camera _ Centro Italiano per la fotografia

White Sands, New Mexico, #019, 2017
@Francesco Jodice, Courtesy of Gazelli Art House - London
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Exhibition catalogue

March 2020 / December 2020