Water. Visions and words – photographic exhibition

Flipping through the pages of the visual poem “Water. Visions and words” of Maurizio Sodano, we feel the physical sensation, beyond that intellectual, of a beneficial return to the vital element from which we come and to which we will all return, after our “appearance” as human beings. The words of the great French philosopher Michel Foucault come to mind, who wrote important reflections on human societies and on the relationship between men and women with natural elements and, among the pages of his monumental work, Madness in the Classical Age, defined the water as a simple and primitive liquid belongs to what in Nature is purer. Adding that, despite the changes made by the not always benevolent work of man, the return to the limpid water assumes the meaning of a purification ritual; in this transparent freshness one is reborn to one’s own innocence. In this sense, the hypnotic images of Sodano accompany us in a journey of “memory”, beyond the individual and collective existence of the human species and its “civilization”, which has often been  removed from its “natural” belonging, or has even nourished the arrogant “historical” design of dominating Nature, with disastrous results. We are reminded by the details of artistic photography which lead us to see with a renewed wonder what we now look at in an expected way. The memory of water, therefore, evoked by the images “Water. Visions and words”, it is the artistic awareness of belonging to a wider dimension of being in the world and the vital feeling that sustains it, always and forever.

Vincenzo Villarosa

The photographic exhibition “Water. Visions and words” at the Villa Pignattelli in Corciano from 18th May 2019.

The photographic exhibition “Water. Visions and words” at the Civic Museum of the Torrione in Forio d’Ischia from 25th May 2019.

The photographic exhibition “Water. Visions and words” at the WeSpace Art Gallery in Naples from 22th June 2019.


Intro – photographic exhibition in Naples

In the works that are part of Intro, the solo exhibition of photographic art by Maurizio Sodano that will take place from the 20th to the 30th of October at the Wespace Art Gallery in Naples, immediately strike the decontextualization of the performance  formed by elements that come from everyday life and the use of photography as an instrument of knowledge of the world, together with the sphere,  “alien” presence but at the same time ironic symbol of the human (im)perfection.

The basic material and cultural elements, shooted by the Neapolitan artist with great skill through the technological instrument, recall the background of the natural, historical and affective existence of human beings, through images of great expressive power . These make us think of the inability to get out of the often “invisible” cages of corporate roles and individualism passed out for freedom, which no longer knows how to recognize one’s humanity in the diversity of others lives. 

The artistic microinstallations reproduced, however, await more than suggesting, the reflections of the observer.

The photographic art of Maurizio Sodano is aware of the possibilities and the communicative limits that it proposes itself. Consequently, from “Prisoner of Memories” to “pun” to “Migrantes”, “Narcissus” and beyond, the micronarrations for images refer to a broader dramaturgy and offer themselves to the active participation of the social and cultural environment of which they take part, and that the artist represents in its essentiality.

Vincenzo Villarosa

Island Inside – photographic exhibition in the Ischia Island

Symbol and concept in the photography by Maurizio Sodano

    On examining the photographic work by Maurizio Sodano, we cannot leave out of consideration the particularity, of the author, to transforming the postproduction from a technical process to a mental process, a singular realization manner that entails also the ability to precisely foresee the result of every individual release that therefore will never be chance, but fruit of an accurate premeditation that can bring the photographer to search in the scenery of a shooting the exact light conditions that can dictate the kind of image that will come of it.

   The photos collected for the solo exhibition Island Inside mainly develop from a similar premise, but reveal symbolistic-conceptual aspects that we find in an evident manner in the more representative snapshots by Sodano. The author interprets the island like a metaphor of an inner path, of a gradual existential research, but also like a more extensive concept of a sight of the elements isolated from their contexts to catch unknown aspects of them and give us back a different image from the usual one, and it is also the impression that the visitors of the exhibition will be able to have of the island of Ischia that accepts the exposition. 

    The opening image, Mooring, perfectly synthesizes the symbolistic-conceptual features of the photography by Maurizio Sodano. The release portrays a bollard to which two ropes are fastened, as if they represented two divergent vanishing lines towards the darkness of a cosmic space. Here the depicted elements give up their functional attribution, that one to fasten the ships to the shore, to become metaphor of a higher bonds between earth and universe, between man and the celestial dimension. 

    On the conceptual plane, Sodano whereas is distinguished by isolating the same portrayed elements from their own general context, to offer us a new sight of it that lets us discover unsuspected qualities in a simple object of  common use. It is the case of Mooring, where the attention quite concentrated on two cords, rolled up around a metal support, refers us to an identity of those tools that we wouldn’t otherwise have considered. On those objects, the traces of their function seem impressed, and it is on these that the look of the observer concentrates, more than on the objects themselves, consumptions that tell the story of an object lived as if they emulated an informal sculpture in which the image lies in a mental projection of the work, even before in the objectivity of the work. The isolation of the object from its more usual frame opens to interesting questions that lie outside from the specific of photography to position itself on a higher theoretical plane. The impression is that similar images investigate on the connection between the object and its context, that is they reveal the measure in which the whole influences the perception of the individual element hiding singular aspects visible only through their focusing.

    The same effect is substantially confirmed with Eye, where what is portrayed is a porthole of a ship. Caught in its particularity, that circular window, in the ship’s side, loses its use function to take on an ideal value, dematerialized with respect to the context in which it is inserted, while the whole surroundings this time take on the appearance of an informal materic painting. 

    With Sacred soul, the photographic approach characterizing Maurizio Sodano’s releases is applied to the island of Ischia through an image of the Chiesa del Soccorso that summarizes the whole style of the parthenopean photographer. The ecclesiastic building is still sunk in the cosmic dark; separated from the context, it becomes symbol of the island itself to represent one of the monumental sites of higher esteem and renown, but the photograph, strengthens, in its particular shot, also the concept of island in Sodano’s personal interpretation, that is of an entity, whose nature is exalted by the isolation from all the other elements that allows to discover the essence of it, and here the circle closes. 

    The man, who want to know himself, needs isolating from the others, so that the surrounding environment don’t interfere on its real nature. The same concept is applicable both to objects and to territory. And here photography becomes philosophy.  

Domenico Raio