In the futurist manifesto, Marinetti criticized passatismo, the cultural tradition in Italy. It further called for the destruction of libraries, feminism and museums. Sooner than could be thought, futurism had expanded into an international movement. Its participants gave additional manifestos for all types of art such as sculpture, architecture, painting, music, photography, literature, interior design, urban design, theatre film, fashion, textiles and cinema (Markov, Vladimir. 1969). Marinetti was later joined by a number of painters in the movement, including Umberto Boccioni, Giocomo Balla, Carlo Carra, Ginno Severrini and a music composer known as Luigi Russolo. Severini learnt cubism while he spent time in Paris and introduced it among the Italian futurist painters.
Some part of history claim that futurism originated in Italy, while some other historical documents on futurism saying that it actually started in Russia, with the phrase ‘art of the future’ having first been used there in 1908, which was a year earlier before the term ‘futurism’ officially appeared. There was a Link and Triangle group where it was first applied. It was an art revolution that was first spreading across the world. Painting was the first form of art that was embraced by the futurists. The prolific painters at the time were the Mikhail Larionov, Alexandra Exter Natalia Goncharova, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné and the Burliuk brothers.
Some of the highlights of futurism as we learnt in class are discussed below:
Chapter 12: The Birth of Gazourmah
Mafarka utilized birth fantasies during the start of the 20th Century when the avant-garde began. Not only was Gazourmah black, but he was also a conspicuous character. Gazourmah is a machine, or an airplane. Gazourmah spreads the wings of an airplane, which allows him to produce “total music” (Perlof 102). Music is made from factory noise or by utilizing musical instruments. Unquestionably, an appeal with noise, space, energy, speed, machines, airplanes, around 1900, avant-garde of the European had a trope key, hence also an absolute male issue.
But there are further aspects of the crisis of the modern Western idea for, and within it the roles of the Futurists, that exclusively cannot be accounted for the traditionalist structure of a European history of ideas, but to a certain extent, they are infused with ambiguities that are generated by dichotomies, such as art or science, man or woman, nature or techniques, and by the colonial encounter (American, Russian, &German modernism 85).
The Sleepless Hero
Prologue to the idea of dynamic, the Futurists sought to represent sensations of objects, movements in images, manifestos, poems, and rhythms. Such distinctive are beautifully expressed in Boccioni’s most iconic masterpiece, The Sleepless Hero. The shape of the pose at some time it was forceful and graceful, it is very comparable to the Nike of Samothrace regardless of their obstinate denial of traditional arts.
A Cloud in Trousers- Vladimir Mayakovski
This piece of art is the true representation of the process the author went through certainly. He wrote wonderful, inspiring love poetry; gorgeous poetry, a style which would represent the period he lived. Nonetheless, the movement was dear to him as to that of constructivism in art; to the notion of useful art; to art that should echo the roar of the street; the din of intense production; those sorts of ideas; and should contribute. Those ideas were immensely powerful for him, but at the same time, he was drawn in. He told himself “I feel like a machinist with his sleeve trapped in the mechanism, and there is no inevitable heaven. The procedure, which he drew in, was a genuine desire to contribute to Futurism.
Even after the revolution, after the event, there is no utopia. There is still potential for history. Painter, (36), notes that it would be possible to read this as something as simple as Mayakovsky showing that once the revolution is over people still have to worry about things like love; things that seem more important than ultimate affairs of state. But the rhyme has every time conflated throughout the levels of personal and history of the world, so Mayakovsky’s rest of dissatisfaction is, at the extremely slightest left unfasten, to imply something much larger than his own girl-craziness.
The Italian futurism
In his newspaper articles across the world, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti expressed his passionate dislike and loathing of the old things, and most notably the artistic and political tradition. He often wrote, ‘we the strong and the young futurists don’t want to be part of it, the past’. They somehow admired the technology, speed, violence and youth, the airplane, the car and the industrial city, all of which represented the technological success of the humankind over nature. Originality, however violent and however daring, was praised and the cult of all imitation and the past was repudiated.
The manifestos on futurism were on many topics, which included architecture, clothing, cooking and religion. There were no positive artistic programs in the first manifesto released by the futurists led by Marinetti, as was in the subsequent futurist technical manifesto on painting (which resulted to a commitment to universal dynamism).
Other than painting, there was an immense focus on architecture. Antonio Sant’Elia, a futurist painter, expressed ideas of modernity in his drawings for the new city, La Citta Nuova in the period between 1912 and 1914. Having been killed in the First World War, his architectural project was never built but it greatly influenced the latter architect and artist generations.
The Russian futurism
This was basically a movement of visual arts and literature. Vladimir Mayakovski, a poet, was a prominent member of the Russian futurist movement. Some of the notable visual artists in the Russian futurist movement were David Durlyuk, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Morionov, Velimir Khlebnikov, Aleskey Kruchenykh and Kazimir Malevich. They were poets themselves and derived inspiration from the imageries of the futurist writings.
Comparison of Italian and the Russian futurism
A common feature of both the Russian and the Italian futurism was the fascination with dynamism, restlessness and speed of the modern urban life. Just like the Italian futurism, the Russian futurism repudiated the art of the past (Cohen, Aaron J. 2008). The Russian futurists often said Dostoevsky and Pushkin were to be ‘heaved overboard from the steamship of modernity’. They both applied the cubism-futurism as the main style of painting.
The practice was the same. They embodied similar ideologies which makes people think that the origin was the same and not scattered.
Contrasts between the Italian and the Russian futurism
Despite the glaring similarities, the Russian futurists insisted they acknowledged no authority and swore not to owe anything to Marinetti, whose futurist principles they had adopted. They blocked him when he went to Russia to proselytize. There were no much differences save for the specialization in different kinds of art in the two countries. Whereas Russia specialized greatly in literary/written art, especially poetry, the Italians appreciated painting more, but did not totally ignore the other forms of art.
The Russian movement, being the literary one that it was, was thought by the Russians to be very much different to the Italian one. It has been argued by many that the Russians are driven by the lack of desire to owe anything to the west. Russia was a purely socialist state at the inception of futurism, and they considered the Marinetti’s futurist manifesto as not entirely addressing their socialist ideals. This doesn’t mean they did not apply them in their system, but they interpreted it in their unique way to suit their socialist aesthetics.
It is thought that the Russians are wrong in their claim because the ideals and philosophy of futurism were first contained in Marinetti’s ‘the manifesto of futurism’. He was the first to idealize it and it can therefore not be denied that he fathered the whole thing about futurism. Some people support Russia in its claim that they don’t owe Italians anything regarding futurism by saying that there are no original ideas, but there are original people (Cohen, Aaron J. 2008). This is to mean that nobody can claim ownership of some knowledge, nobody owns a particular knowledge on anything, so the Russians could have been as smart as the Italians at the invent of futurism.
Cohen, Aaron J. Imagining the unimaginable World War, modern art, & the politics of public culture in Russia, 1914-1917. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Print.
Markov, Vladimir. Russian futurism. London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1969. Print.
Painter, Kirsten Blythe. Flint on a bright stone: a revolution of precision and restraint in American, Russian, and German modernism. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006. Print.
Perloff, Marjorie. The futurist moment: avant-garde, Avant guerre, and the language of rupture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. Print.