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The Museo del Prado pays tribute to its visitors through the work of the Italian artist Francesco Jodice Thursday, October 6, 2011

From 5 October 2011 to 8 January 2012 The Prado by Francesco Jodice will present visitors with a visual testimony to the presence of those who, like them, have ‘inhabited’ its galleries. Through the disinterested participation of more than 400 visitors from all over the world, Francesco Jodice (born Naples, 1967) has created two works – a video-installation and a five-minute film – that will be shown at the Prado in a tribute to its visitors. The project by this highly regarded Italian artist has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Acciona, a Benefactor Member of the Museo del Prado since 2007.

The Museo del Prado pays tribute to its visitors through the work of the Italian artist Francesco Jodice

From right to left: Pío Cabanillas Acciona DirCom, Francesco Jodice and Miguel Zugaza Museo del Prado Director

Francesco Jodice's work explores the relationship between human beings and the urban space. Within this relationship he considers that scarcely a trace has been left of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have admired museum collections over the course of the centuries. With the present project, entitled The Prado by Francesco Jodice, the artist has aimed to highlight the mark left by their presence, paying tribute to the spectator's 'ecstasy'. In Jodice's words: "the most important and remarkable aspect of this phenomenon is the accumulation of emotion, desire, reflection, joy, rage or silence that each person experiences inside the museum-environment as well as the base for the construction of an archive of the spectator’s presence".

In order to construct this moving 'human atlas' of the Prado, Jodice has created a video-installation that will be projected in the niches of the "Ionic Galleries" of the Museum's ground floor, which have views over the Paseo del Prado. These five synchronised projections will record the disinterested participation of more than 400 visitors to the Museum whose portraits in movement were captured full-length in 1:1 human scale and in close-up on Jodice's lens, reflecting the tension caused by the act of filming. With the projection of this 'photography in movement' filmed on HD, Jodice has aimed to record the memory of those individuals' presence and thus produce a witnessing of the visitors who daily experience the effect of the Museum's collections, constructing a 'visual encyclopaedia' of part of that great mass of humanity that keeps the Museum and its works alive. For Jodice, "[...] the faces become the Spanish and international physiognomic history of the social landscape of the Museum", given that "in this installation the spectator becomes a work of art."

The video-installation will also be seen at night by visitors or passers-by in the area of the Paseo del Prado that is flanked by the gallery showing the projection. As a result, another interesting aspect of the project will be that of sharing this fragment of the Museum's life with the street outside following one of Jodice's obsession: to 'explode' the Museum and the possibilities of public spaces as a 'protesys' of the traditional exhibition areas.

Film

In addition to the video-installation, Jodice has made a short, five-minute film that will be shown in a connecting area of the building located on the first floor next to the Goya galleries. The film reflects the everyday relationship between visitors to the Prado and its collections. Jodice ‘fuses’ the visitor with the work of art, showing their immobile portraits (couples, families, students etc.,) in a tense and moving dialogue that once again makes the spectator rather than the work of art the protagonist.

The Prado by Francesco Jodice, also at the cinema

From 7 October a shorter version of the film will be shown in 400 cinemas around Spain also thanks to the sponsorship of Acciona. This new initiative will also confront the cinema spectators with the spectators and works of the Museum. According the artist's own words: "[...] the work of art thus functions like a virus infecting a space traditionally dedicated to film, obliging a public not necessarily used to art to come face to face with it."

Francesco Jodice

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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