i-ItalyNY - 5thBirthday Special Issue. The Best of i-Itay - page 19

Special Issue | Winter 2017-2018 |
i-Italy Magazine
| 19
They reviled critics, labeling them embalmers
whose “corpses” glorified the old world of man-
ners and refinements, of sentimental love and
idleness. They wanted the world to be infected
with the germs of industry and conflict, war and
speed, violence and danger, and they worked to
spread a new sense of dis-ease borne by machine
energy and power. Their paintings would defy
the confines of the canvas with blaring onomato-
poeia. They wanted the scope and dimension of
their paintings and sculptures to issue sound and
energy. They glorified social disturbance, light rays
emitted from a street lamp, the swish of a dog on
its leash, the forward surge of a train. In themusic
of Pratella, which would have been pure cacopho-
ny toLiszt orMozart, they played for audiences the
sounds of the days and nights of the new age, with
instrumentsmade fromcans or pipes, or played in
unusual ways to simulate the squeaking of wheels
on a railroad track or the painful whirr of a factory
machine. Unlike sentimental artists or academ-
ics, the Futurists would have relished it, if, in the
middle of an interview, one’s cell phone went off
loudly or if a play were interrupted by shouts of
protest or praise. They didn’t see such things as in-
terruptions, but as complements to an experience.
The present of Futurism
The movement hasn’t quite ended. Today, even
graffiti takes its iconoclastic place in a Futurist
world. It is highly self-expressive. It is full of bold
colors. It is not the stuff of museums. It is fresh
to some and irritating to others. We find hints
of futurism in architecture, music, industrial de-
sign, art, film and even cooking. Futurists loved
demonstrations.
They would find this article boring because it
contains no noise, no surprise blasts, no color, no
violence. Please don’t tear up this page! But do
think about it! Ah, there are cars passing outside,
but I can only refer to them. Planes pass overhead
and a bus stops and resumes on its way. Maybe I
should end this trifling essay with a
whoosh, erk,
erk, thump, and whaaaaaa
!!!!!
To Futurists, the present does not simply re-
ject the past. It embraces the inevitable future, the
technology that they believedwould transformthe
world.
And has.
Zoom
.
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SteveAcunto at the
Guggenheimfor i-ItalyTV
Counter-clockwise: Ivo Pannaggi, Treno in corsa,
1922
Courtesy Fondazione Cassa di risparmio della Provincia
di Macerata.
Carlo Carrà, Manifestazione
Interventista, 1914
Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim
Foundation, New York.
Fortunato Depero, Diavoletti
neri e bianchi, Danza di diavoli, 1922–23
MART,
Archivio fotografico.
Tullio Crali, Prima che si apra il
paracadute, 1939
Claudio Marcon.
Installation view
Kris McKay © SRGF.
Below: Steve Acunto at the
Futurism exhibit at the Guggenheim
Photo i-Italy
Network.
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