An unexpected lesson
“Ludo look! There's Mimmo Jodice! "
"And who is it?"
“But who is he like? The photographer! That gentleman with the white beard! "
I had never heard of this gentleman with a white beard. And I wondered what he was doing there, on that special day, where the corridors of our department were emptied to attend the ceremony for conferring the Laurea Honoris Causa to Ettore Spalletti.
From that day on I started to "google it": photographs, articles and documentaries on Sky Arte. I started exploring the world of the famous Neapolitan photographer, trying to understand his way of making art through photography. Because that's what we're talking about, right? Of art! So why not open a small paragraph on art that is now somehow close to everyone?
A part of Jodice's career that particularly struck me is that between the 70s and 80s. The idea of immortalizing a still, blocked, timeless city begins to mature. A city free from everything that represented everyday life and charged only with memory and metaphysical presences. “By eliminating everything, only this skeletal architecture remains, this dimension of emptiness” (I highly recommend you to see the documentary on Mimmo Jodice on SkyArte!).
This sentence made me think, a lot. I tried to understand what Mimmo meant by a timeless city and by the dimension of emptiness. I wondered if such a place really existed, where everything is silent, with no memory or future.
And then one afternoon I decided; machine around the neck and go! I went to Laurentino38, the famous suburb of southern Rome. A neighborhood formed by these air volumes (the famous "Bridges") partly abandoned, partly illegally occupied. Populated by delinquency and more or less organized crime. I decided to represent, through some photographs, the abandonment of this place. Large driveways occupied by parked cars, clothes hanging on the windows of the eighth floor. Every now and then a few steering wheels pass by, a boy on a scooter, while two or three children skate among the enormous "pilotis" of the covered arcades under the house.
Maybe that was what Mimmo was talking about, or maybe not. Maybe while I was immortalizing those moments, I thought about the impressions of those who would have seen my photographs. He will imagine a place abandoned and forgotten by society. A corner of the city with memories to forget hoping for a better future.
Ludovica Di Camillo
photo - Laurentino38 district, Rome
© Ludovica Di Camillo