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

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