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Beyond Anarchism. Marinetti, Futurism, Futurist Anarchism University College of London (UK), dept. of Italian, 3.12.2008. Marja Härmänmaa, University of Helsinki, Finland / University of Cambridge, Clare Hall College. ”A visit”. In 1865 Mikhail Bakunin went to Naples

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Beyond anarchism

Beyond Anarchism

Marinetti, Futurism, Futurist Anarchism

University College of London (UK), dept. of Italian, 3.12.2008

Marja Härmänmaa, University of Helsinki, Finland / University of Cambridge, Clare Hall College


A visit
”A visit”

  • In 1865 Mikhail Bakunin went to Naples

  • Creation of Bakunin’s Anarchist ideology

  • Foundation of Anarchist movement in Italy

    • In 1900 the murder of King Umberto I


Conceptualization of futurist anarchism
Conceptualization of Futurist Anarchism

  • Social utopia of Futurism?

  • The social meaning of Art?

  • The role of the artist in society?


Italy cradle of anarchism
Italy cradle of Anarchism

  • Mikhail Bakunin (1814 – 1876)

  • Errico Malatesta (1853-1932)

  • Economically a poor country

  • Disappointment of unification

  • Corruption of the political class

  • Cultural and political anarchism

    • D’Annunzio

    • Gian Pietro Lucini


Political radicalism artistic anarchism
Political radicalism & artistic anarchism

  • Associated around the mid 19th century

  • Changed artistic institution

  • New autonomy of arts and artists

  • Critique of middle class society and its materialistic values

  • France: Symbolism and Impressionism


Marinetti s early social interests
Marinetti’s early social interests

  • Le Roi Bombance (1905)

    • Social revolution (led by the socialists Filippo Turati and Antonio Labriola)

  • Before the IWW

    • Against the politics of Giolitti

    • Connections with extra pariamentary groups

    • George Sorel and the theory of the use of violence


Marinetti and anarchism
Marinetti and Anarchism

  • Theme of ’destruction’ in the first works

    • La conquête des étoiles (1902)

    • Destruction (1904)

  • In Paris in contact with the Anarchists

  • Abbaye de Créteil, utopistic community of anarchist artists


Futurist anarchy
Futurist anarchy

  • Foundation of Futurism (1909):

    • ”the most aggressive revolt of the modern man towards the past and the present time”

  • Artistic anarchism

  • Against the artistic tradition

  • Rupture of the artistic tradition in Modernism (partly) caused by the diffusion of anarchist ideas in arts


Conferenza su l amore del pericolo e l eroismo quotidiano 1910
”Conferenza su l’amore del pericolo e l’eroismo quotidiano” (1910)

  • “E voi, forse, non avete ancora un concetto esatto di ciò che siamo e di quel che vogliamo. Immaginate nella malinconica e stagnante repubblica delle lettere e delle arti un gruppo di giovani assolutamente ribelle e demolitore che stanco di adorare il passato, nauseato dal pedantismo accademico, avido di originalità temeraria e anelante verso una vita avventurosa, energica e quotidianamente eroica, sgombrare l’anima italiana da quel amasso [sic] di pregiudizi di luoghi comuni, di rispetti e di venerazioni che noi chiamiamo il passatismo. Insomma: degli anarchici in arte, ecco che cosa sono i futuristi.”


Reasons to deny the past
Reasons to deny the past quotidiano” (1910)

  • Judeo-christian conception of linear time

  • Advent of the “macchina” had broken the chain of linear time

  • Beginning of a new era

  • Past did not exist


Prefazione futurista a revolverate di gian pietro lucini 1910
”Prefazione futurista a ’Revolverate’ di Gian Pietro Lucini” (1910)

  • ”Il presente non mai come in questi tempi apparve staccato dalla catena genetica del passato, figlio di sé stesso e generatore formidabile delle potenze future”


Versions of anarchism
Versions of Anarchism Lucini” (1910)

  • Enlightenment

    • William Godwin (1756 – 1836)

    • Peter Kropotkin (1842 – 1921)

    • A perfect society  communism

  • Romanticism

    • Mikhail Bakunin (1814 – 1876)

    • Max Stirner (1806 – 1856)

    • Individual anarchism


Individual anarchism
Individual Anarchism Lucini” (1910)

  • Max Stirner:

    • Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum (1844)

  • No interest towards society nor towards the arts

  • Importance of the individual as ’ego’ against everything

  • All social institutions (government, church..) are artificial concepts and thus false authorities


Individual aestheticism
Individual aestheticism Lucini” (1910)

  • Artist produces his uniqueness in art

  • Individualist makes art out of his own personality

  • Egoist makes art to promote himself

  • Partly explains the heterogeneity of modernist culture


Futurism as a work of art
’Futurism’ as a work of art Lucini” (1910)

  • In order to promote Marinetti

  • Absolute leader of the movement

  • Mafarka il futurista (1910)

    • Mafarka = Marinetti

    • Gazourmah = Futurism


Nihilism of cultural modernism
Nihilism of Cultural modernism Lucini” (1910)

  • Matei Calinescu:

  • Otherness and change important

  • Tradition of ”antitradition”

  • Future way out of rotten present, son of the past

  • When future moment is reached, it becomes present moment

  • Continuous destruction / rejection


Futurist nichilism in arts
Futurist nichilism in arts Lucini” (1910)

  • Faith in progress

  • Guerra sola igiene del mondo (1915)

    • ”Abbiate fiducia nel progresso, che ha sempre ragione, anche quando ha torto, perché è il movimento, la vita, la lotta, la speranza.”

  • Principle of eternal development

  • Nothing is supposed to last

  • Works of art are to be destroyed when they are ready


L aeroplano del papa 1912
L’Aeroplano del Papa Lucini” (1910) (1912)

  • ”Sono incessantemente commisto alle mie scorie.

    La mia vita è la fusione perpetua dei miei frantumi.

    Distruggo per creare ed ancora distruggo

    per modellare statue tonanti

    che subito spezzo con lo schifo e il terrore di vederle durare!”


Futurist nichilism in politics
Futurist nichilism in politics Lucini” (1910)

  • Before WW1 no social utopia

  • Principle of the eternal development

  • Ideal: the everlasting state of war

  • ”War, world’s sole hygiene”


Futurist political activity
Futurist political activity Lucini” (1910)

  • Marinetti’s growing interest towards politics after WW1

  • First political manifesto (1913)

  • Futurist political party (1918)

  • Democrazia futurista (1919)

  • Al di là del comunismo (1920)


Modernizing italy
Modernizing Italy Lucini” (1910)

  • Abolition of Pope, monarchy, parliament and marriage

  • A government of technicians in power with a council of Young people

  • 8-hours working day


Futurist anarchist state
”Futurist Anarchist State” Lucini” (1910)

  • Final result of the political program

  • An apolitical anarchistic utopia

  • No class struggle

  • ”Al di là del comunismo”

  • Instead of the proletariat, a spiritual aristocracy that has the right to realize the Italian revolution


Artecrazia
”Artecrazia” Lucini” (1910)

  • Jean Grave (1854 – 1939)

  • La societé mourante et l’anarchie (1892)

  • Anarchy is art

  • Art = supreme form of individualism

  • The main duty of an anarchist society is to produce culture

  • Oscar Wilde


D annunzio and fiume
D’Annunzio and Fiume Lucini” (1910)

  • The Republic of Fiume (1919 - 1920)

  • La Carta del Carnaro

  • Free university

  • Academy of fine arts

  • Schools of music

  • In every municipality an orchestra and a choir subsidized by the State and giving free concerts


Marinetti s version
Marinetti’s version Lucini” (1910)

  • Al di là del comunismo (1920)

  • ”Art is an alcohol that gives optimism to citizens”

  • Number of artists must increase -> race of artists

  • In every city a centre of genius

  • Every month new exhibitions of art and poetry readings.

  • Music: in every piazza a choir and an orchestra

  • Life must become a work of art


Goodbye anarchy
Goodbye, anarchy! Lucini” (1910)

  • ”Il Futurismo è un movimento schiettamente artistico ed ideologico. Interviene nelle lotte politiche soltanto nelle ore di grave pericolo per la Nazione.” (Futurismo e Fascismo, 1924)


Avant garde and totalitarianism
Avant-garde and totalitarianism Lucini” (1910)

  • Mussolini in power in 1922

  • Changed position of Futurism from antagonism to collaboration with the State

  • Important position in the artistic life of the Fascist Italy (Venice Biennale…)

  • Marinetti member of l’Accademia d’Italia

  • Marinetti wrote 2-3 articles in the Italian Encyclopedia about Futurism

  • Marinetti a special propagandist of the State in case of war


Anarchist art
Anarchist art Lucini” (1910)

  • Difficult to define

  • Artistic anarchy towards society?

  • Artistic anarchy within the tradition of art?

  • Kropotkin and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon:

    • Art must serve the revolution

    • Documentary meaning: Social realism


Fascist art policy
Fascist art policy Lucini” (1910)

  • Discussion started immediately when Mussolini became prime minister

  • Futurists wanted a strict artistic policy

  • Political dictatorship – artistic dictatorship

  • Futurism as the official art of Fascism

  • Futurism had collaborated in the foundation of Fascism (1919)

  • Fascist Italy a modern State – a need of a modern art


Art and anarchist society
Art and anarchist society Lucini” (1910)

  • Kropotkin:

    • Artist represented the conscience of humanity

    • Artist was able to change social reality


Futurist art and society
Futurist art and society Lucini” (1910)

  • Marinetti:

    • ”art and literature have an enormous influence upon society”

    • Art as a tool of social activity

    • Rejection of the conception ”art for art’s sake”

    • Social role of artist

    • Social role of arts


Arte vita
”Arte – vita” Lucini” (1910)

  • Introduction of life in arts

    • Easy to understand

    • Art in direct contact with life (antiacademic)

  • Profanation of the Enlightened middle-class concept of ”sublime art”

    • Create corageously ”ugly”

    • Spite on the althare of the arts

  • Abolition of the boundaries between art – non art

    • New art forms: cuisine

    • New elements to arts: sport


Futurists and the fascist art
Futurists and the Fascist art Lucini” (1910)

  • Impossibility to detach from the socio-political reality:

    • ”The political spirit that Mussolini has created is so impressive that the artists could not escape its influence.”

  • The propagandistic aim of art:

    • ”Art must serve a universal, political or nationalistic aim.”


Aerofuturism
Aerofuturism Lucini” (1910)

  • Glorification of the airplanes and aviation

  • Propaganda of the technological progress of Italy

  • Nationalistic reasons

  • The spiritual element of flight: non-materialistic dimension of technology


Gerardo dottori aeropittura 1930 s
Gerardo Dottori: Lucini” (1910)Aeropittura, 1930’s


Aeropittura di tato dinamismo aereo 1930 s
Aeropittura di Tato, Lucini” (1910)Dinamismo aereo, 1930’s


Some strategies to disturb the order
”Some strategies to disturb the order” Lucini” (1910)

  • Anarchism = antagonistic ideology

  • Avant-garde = aesthetic dimension

  • Terrorism = strategy of realization


Anarchism now
Anarchism, now? Lucini” (1910)

  • Italy: reorganization of the anarchist movement in 1945 (Federazione anarchica italiana, FAI)

  • Wikipedia: anarcho-capitalism, green anarchism, anarca-feminism, anarco-primitivism…


Bourgeois anarchy
Bourgeois anarchy Lucini” (1910)

  • Internet: cradle of anarchism, no authority

  • Collapse of Soviet Union

  • Growing power of multi-national enterprises

  • Nation States’ diminishing power

  • ”Umanità cammina verso l’individualismo anarchico, mèta e sogno d’ogni spirito forte” (Marinetti, 1920)


Futurist anarchism now 1909 2009
Futurist Anarchism now Lucini” (1910)(1909-2009)?

  • Marinetti’s anarchist strategy

    • Colourful language

    • Artistic and extra-artistic manifestations

  • Aiming at getting attention and at hiding a mediocre writer

  • Model of the modern intellectual

  • Television series (The Idols)

  • Politics (Berlusconi, Lega Nord)


Thanks

Thanks! Lucini” (1910)

”In everyone of us there is a little Anarchist… at least occasionally!” (M.H.)