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Italian Futurism: “Modernolatry”. Futurism  I. Modern Italy and Futurist Nationalism  II. Futurist Values  III. The Futurist “I”  IV. F.T. Marinetti:

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Presentation on theme: "Italian Futurism: “Modernolatry”. Futurism  I. Modern Italy and Futurist Nationalism  II. Futurist Values  III. The Futurist “I”  IV. F.T. Marinetti:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Italian Futurism: “Modernolatry”

2 Futurism  I. Modern Italy and Futurist Nationalism  II. Futurist Values  III. The Futurist “I”  IV. F.T. Marinetti: Futurist Showman

3 I.Modern Italy  Italy: a latecomer to “modernity”  Slow to industrialize; considered backwards, primitive, romantic  Late 19 th century: not a strongly unified country; explosive development of large industry

4 “The Myth of The New Italian”  Early 20 th century; explosion of nationalist movements in Italy  Italy’s national destiny  Embrace modernity  Transformations of modern life were preparing the way for a new civilization

5 Futurist Nationalism  Futurism is powerful attempt to forge new Italian, liberated from tradition and the weight of cultural heritage  War as initiation into modernity  “We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene…” (Founding Manifesto)

6 Futurism as Proto-Fascism?  Benito Mussolini: “I formally declare that without Futurism there would never have been a fascist revolution.”  Futurism: anti-tradition, individualist, libertarian, anti-moralist, anti-Catholic  Fascism: classicist, hierarchic, authoritarian, moralist, Catholic, heroic past

7 Futurism and/or Fascism Ideological Affinities  Cult of action; disposition to violence; intolerance of dissent; desire for new; glorification of youth  Futurists as Restless Fascists: believed in central myths of totalitarian state: import of mythical thought; vitalism; mystical national community; heroism of war; imperial ambitions; Italian vanguard

8 II. Futurist Values  Ecstatic embrace of Modernity: speed, technology, industry, machines  Mix of dehumanized materialism and mystical will (primitivism, instinct, spirit)  “We are not interested in offering dramas of humanized matter…The warmth of a piece of iron or wood is in our opinion more impassioned than the smile or tears of a woman.” -- “Technical Manifesto of F. Lit.”

9 Futurist Values  Celebration of change, progress, “the NEW”  War on the past, tradition, restriction, “the Sublime in Art with a Capital A”  Embrace of dynamism, movement, competition, struggle, violence  Futurist enemies? “Passeism,” “Amore”

10 Futurist Painting and Sculpture: Umberto Boccioni ( )

11 The Street Invades the House (1911)

12 Development of a Bottle in Space (1912)

13 Unique Form of Continuity in Space (1913)

14 III. The Futurist “I”  Self-confirmation via STRUGGLE  Necessity of debased, despised Other for self-construction and distinction (obstacle) “The pleasure of being booed”  Unbinding of Self / Dream of Disembodiment “Art is a need to destroy and scatter oneself, a great watering can of heroism that drowns the world.” (“Technical Manifesto”) “The intoxication of great speed in cars is nothing but the joy of feeling oneself fused with the only divinity.” (“The New Religion”)

15 Futurist “I”  Anti-humanist/ inhuman: “We look for the creation of a non-human type…This non-human and mechanical being, constructed for omnipresent velocity, will be naturally cruel, omniscient, and combative” (“The Multiplied Man”)  Technology as Prosthetic Supplementation

16 Futurist “I”  Friedrich Nietzsche: philosopher of modernity  Modernity blocks sensual/vital experience; need for superhuman (übermensch) overcoming of limits through imposition of will  Transcendence and Discharge:

17 Nietzsche on Discharge  “All instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward—this is what I call the internalization of man: thus it was that man first developed what is called his ‘soul.’ The entire inner world, originally as thin as if it were stretched between two membranes, expanded and extended itself, acquired depth, breadth and height in the name of measure as outward discharge was inhibited.” On the Genealogy of Morals (1887)

18 Marinetti: Futurist Showman

19 F.T. Marinetti: Futurist Showman  Marinetti ( ): childhood in Egypt; father’s fortune funded futurist activities; educated in Paris  Tireless promoter of Futurism in Europe ( ); “The Caffeine of Europe”  Sold-out concert tours promoting /performing Futurism to middle-class audiences  The Artist-as-Advertiser (provocateur/entertainer)  Futurism as Fashion  Futurism and Commodity Culture?

20 F.T. Marinetti


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