Published: Monday, 07 November 2016

Azimut | Benetti Group brand Azimut Yachts, a synonym for fine Italian design and manufacturing excellence, presented Nov 3 at Artissima, Italy, the new project by artist and photographer Francesco Jodice – The Voyage. 

Azimut Yachts Presents Francesco Jodice Project The Voyage

(Photos: Azimut | Benetti Group - Francesco Jodice)

At the heart of it all, the legend of seafaring, which represents one of the most profound symbols that western civilisation has used to describe the meaning of life through the ages, from epic literature like the voyage of Ulysses and the legendary adventures of the Argonauts, to the reports written by the great explorers of the Modern Age. Navigation and travel bring together not only the quest for the truth, the desire to challenge limits, and the yearning for knowledge and experience, but also the sheer pleasure of surrendering to the wonder of new vistas.

The Voyage is a project involving Azimut Yachts and its shipyards that will unfold over the space of a three-year period, rebuilding and interpreting the states of mind experienced during a sea voyage, and analysing navigation techniques through a series of books by famous navigators of the past. The project will take the physical form of a series of fine art photographs and an art book. 

Azimut Yachts Presents Francesco Jodice Project The Voyage 1

The basic idea is to represent three different aspects of seafaring: (i) the invention, the technical skills and the human creativity that have always been a part of boatbuilding, (ii) landfall, as a place of exchange and diverse cultures, (iii) the sense of being lost in the view, of the wonder and discovery intrinsic to the voyage to new lands.

At the centre of this itinerary are, naturally, the sea, ports and boats. Naval engineers and their role in the history of exploration become central features of the project. This is the point of intersection between Jodice and Azimut Yachts shipyards, which opened their arms to welcome the photographer’s lens and allowed themselves to be captured by the artist’s gaze.

Azimut Yachts Presents Francesco Jodice Project The Voyage

“It is a project that fills us with enthusiasm and a profound sense of engagement. Research, innovative technology and materials have always been part of our genetic code,” comments Azimut | Benetti Vice President Giovanna Vitelli. “In our yachts, we try to achieve a perfect synthesis of experience, innovation and design of technology and tradition, and of aesthetics and functionality, representing tools to experience the emotions of freedom, discovery and the voyage that have always fascinated mankind. That is why we felt an immediate sense of identification with Francesco Jodice’s art and this project is particularly close to our heart”.

The project as a whole draws on the suggestions evoked by some famous discoveries made by the great explorers – from Charles Darwin to Sir Francis Drake, and from Joseph Conrad to Cristoforo Colombo – accompanied by the study of maps from antiquity and readings of reports of their travels. The aim of the artist is to portray a journey and a voyage of exploration as seen through the eyes of the navigator and explorer, with a spirit of renewed surprise. All perfectly aligned with their own artistic philosophy: indeed, the creative endeavour of Jodice has always been addressed to building a space shared by art and geopolitics, proposing artistic practice as a form of civil poetry.

Azimut Yachts Presents Francesco Jodice Project The Voyage 4

“In his book/diary The Voyage of the Beagle,” explains Francesco Jodice. “Charles Darwin shares his deep melancholy with us: it was 1835 and Darwin’s five-year voyage around the world was coming to an end. Thinking about the century of circumnavigation, discovery and new maps, Darwin understands that soon there will no longer be “anything to see for the first time. The principal aim of my project is to rediscover the sense of epiphany that comes with landfall, through an awareness that I am approaching a borderline between land and sea that has been irreversibly changed by the signs and semiotics of almost two hundred years of anthropisation”.