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The Prado by Francesco Jodice

10/5/2011 - 1/8/2012

The Prado by Francesco Jodice is part of the programme of Museo del Prado known as “Other views” which aims to share an exchange of points of view between the contemporary creation and the Museum Collections. On this occasion, The Prado by Francesco Jodice represents a contemporary portrait of the Museo del Prado itself with which it pays a tribute to its visitors.



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The year 1734 saw the opening in Rome of the Capitoline Museums, which was possibly the first art institution of a modern kind to open its collections to the public. Over the past three centuries museums of ancient, modern and contemporary art have acquired, catalogued, preserved, ordered and exhibited their collections in order for society to benefit from them. It is easy to imagine that during that period, several hundreds of millions of visitors have admired the collections of these museums around the world. Nonetheless, almost nothing has survived of their visits, experiences and emotions. The two works that comprise the present project are an homage to the spectator’s “ecstasy” and an act of witness to his or her physical presence, the stubborn roots left by that person’s journey through the history of the Prado. For me the essential and most remarkable aspect of this phenomenon is the cumulative presence of all these people and their desires, emotions, ecstasies, reflections, joy, rage and silence, which have filled the Prado and so many other museum-environments. Many years ago Giacometti wrote: “There was a time when I visited the Louvre, and the paintings always gave me a sensation of the sublime. Now I go to the Louvre and all I can do is look at people as they contemplate the works of art. For me the sublime now resides in their faces as they are looking.” The infinite portrait that constitutes this project is an account of the “spectacle of the spectator”, a richly diverse group of people who are exposed to the history of art.

The project consists of two works: a short film and a video-installation, both presented in the Museo del Prado as an homage to the spectator. Every day the Museum witnesses an encounter between the place and its visitors that revolves around a sense of belonging. Visitors’ looks and voices and the routes they take around the building imbue the works of art and the architectural space in which they are located with a sense of familiarity, giving the impression that the Museum comes a little closer to its visitors. The project’s overall aim is to construct an atlas of people in the Prado, a visual encyclopaedia of all those who keep the Museum and its works alive. Who are the men and women who have stood in front of the works of Velázquez, Ribera, Goya and El Greco in these early years of the 21st century? The project is also the start of an ethnographic archive of this human landscape.

A fundamental element within Jodice’s approach is that of “transgressing the museological box” and he consequently aims to take the work of art outside of the museum, devising new “places for looking” in the manner of “extra limbs of the museum space”. On this occasion the film being shown in the Prado will also be projected in around 400 cinemas across Spain. The work of art will thus spread like a virus into a space traditionally devoted to film, obliging a public not necessarily familiar with art to confront it.

Francesco Jodice


Image of the recording of El Prado de Francesco Jodice project

Born in Naples in 1967, Francesco Jodice lives and works in Milan.

He was a founder member of the Italian 'Multiplicity' group, an international network and experimental forum of architects and artists. He is also a member of other art groups such as 'Zapruder' that focus on issues of research, urban and socio-cultural development, geo-politics, technology, and art and its influence on the urban environment and on society within it.

Jodice is professor of Urban Visual Anthropology at the NABA Master in Art and Curatorial studyings and professor of Photography Cinema and New media Department at the New Academy of Fine Arts, both in Milan. In 2008 he worked with the United Nations on the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. Jodice's activities encompass architecture, photography and video art and his work explores the involvement and location of the human being within the urban space.

His projects have been exhibited at Documenta in Kassel (2001) , the Venice Biennal (2003), the MAMbo in Bologna (2010), the MUSAC in León, the ICP Triennial of Photography and Video in New York, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (2007), the São Paulo Art Biennial and the Tate Modern, London (2006), and Liverpool Biennial (2004). Jodice's work is represented in various European collections including those of the Reina Sofía in Madrid the Museion in Bozen and the Unicredit Group collection in Italy.

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