There has always been a link, an association, between Italian futurism and different strains of fascism. Ironically, futurism’s desire to overthrow the old and was followed in a parallel manner by the Dadaists and Marcel Duchamp to overturn existing aesthetic conventions in art. Evidently, there is a psychology of the Italian bourgeois and petit bourgeois intellectuals in the period before and during the First World War that gave rise to this singular phenomenon, a conjunction between art and politics, in part on a social class basis, and in part on an independent dynamic, a sort of reactionary gene.
Italian futurism held the praise of death and the erotic; death as dynamic and transformative, a culmination of the pessimism and negative utopianism that would assume a variant form in Germany.There was a self-alienating element that hit a degree where it could experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the highest standard, as if Mussolini hanging in a public square was a scripted act: an epilogue of a totalitarian reality, which encompassed the tragic fusing of a pleasure industry and technological progress in general. This futurist vision of technological society is assumes the expression of “being” in general.
There is no becoming. Only absolute alienation. Whether this, can be claimed to be the basis for the whole historical reality of advanced technological societies is an open question; as is whether almost everything has become “consumption”, reified, and all in relation to a life charged with layers and dimensions representing nothing but what Adorno termed “A fetish of consumption”. Is there a space between the objectified, eroticized “male gaze” at the basis of fascism, and an alternative, what Derrida termed the “bottomless gaze” , a warm shame of indifference into the raw and refreshing encounter? What Steve Reinke termed : If art, and the “truth” of art, exists at the seam between “the nude” and “being naked,”…something genial and disarming.
Alan Woods: Futurism arose as part of the general artistic ferment that characterised the intellectual life of Europe, and particularly France, in the period before 1914. This was a period of spectacular advance of capitalism, which was developing the productive forces at a dizzying pace. Europe and the USA were industrialising rapidly. Industry was advancing at the expense of agriculture, the proletariat at the expense of the peasantry. Old ideas were crumbling. In the field of science the basis was being laid for a twin revolution, connected with relativity theory and quantum mechanics. The human mind was gradually penetrating beyond the world of appearance and discovering a deeper reality in the sub-atomic world, where the laws of the ordinary world of sense perception do not apply. The sensation existed that this was a new age, an age of progress in which the machine was king. Out of this idea arose the cult of the modern. Read More: http://www.marxist.com/ArtAndLiterature-old/italian_futurism_and_fascism.html a
Woods:The cult of the machine was central to Futurism. Cubism had already started to represent reality as a series of geometrical forms. Futurism took this one step further, elevating the straight lines and streamlined forms of industry to a new form of art. The first Futurist exhibition was held in Paris in 1911, but it originated in Turin in March 1910 and was associated with the work of F.T. Marinetti. It advocated the renovation of Italian art and declared that art could live only by emancipating itself from the dead hand of the past. It repudiated tradition, academic training, museums, picture galleries and the art of previous ages. All these things were regarded as so many fetters on the development of art.
Marinetti experimented with new literary forms that attempted to express emotions directly to the eye of the reader through the use of different types, suggestive arrangements of spacing and lines and other devices that were later developed by Mayakovsky and the Russian Constructivist artists after 1917. Read More: http://www.marxist.com/ArtAndLiterature-old/italian_futurism_and_fascism.html a
Kerry Bolton:Marinetti’s artistic ideas crystallized in the Futurist movement that originated from a meeting of artists and musicians in Milan in 1909 to draft a Futurist Manifesto. With Marinetti were Carlo Carra, Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Russolo and Gino Severini. The manifesto was first published in the Parisian paper Le Figaro, and exhorted youth to, “Sing the love of danger, the habit of ey and boldness.”The Futurists were contemptuous of all tradition, of all that is past:
We want to exult aggressive motion . . . we affirm that the magnificence of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed….
…The machine was poetically eulogized. The racing car became the icon of the new epoch, “which seems to run as a machine gun.” The Futurist aesthetic was to be joy in violence and war, as “the sole hygiene of the world.” Motion, dynamic energy, action, and heroism were the foundations of “the culture of the Futurist future. The fisticuffs, the sprint and the kick were expressions of culture. The Futurist Manifesto is as much a challenge to the political and social order as it is to the status quo in the arts. Read More: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/10/filippo-marinetti/