They wanted to burn the museums, the libraries and to go to the streets to shout, to make noise, to recite senseless poems and to declare their opposition against the past. They are the Italian Futurists, a movement led by the fascist poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, whose message was the one of the modern era, of the industrial change which took place in the early twentieth century. They used machinery and the movement as progress symbols, denying everything that was synonymous with academics or with the past. The Futurist art had a violent and revolutionary attitude, more than any other avant-garde art movement.
‘We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness’, declares the first principle of the Futurist Manifesto published in the French newspaper Le Figaro, in 1909. Artists such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo and Gino Severini were the most active in the futuristic scene. They loved painting cars, urban movements or horses, since the advent element as the electricity, the telephone, the aircraft and the cinema changed the outlook of the beauty: this was synonymous with speed and industrialization. These themes dominated the paintings, painted with violent colours, with angry and dynamic brushwork. The bustle of the city was illustrated by a loss of the spatial references and of the overloaded spaces. The art becomes the echo of the relationship between the man and the city.
The sculpture by Umberto Boccioni, “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” (1913 - see photo) is one of the most characteristic works as it entails the search for movement of shape and a powerful force that is so dear to the Futurists. Today it appears emblazoned on the twenty cent coins in Italy.
Literature, architecture, advertising, music, cinema and other arts were other ways of Futurism expression impregnated with this new spirit. They wrote onomatopoeia, which were recited aloud in multiple languages simultaneously, creating the most chaotic sounds ever invented: they reinvented language, making it warrior-like and nationalistic.
Antonio Sant ‘Elia and Mario Chiattone proposed in 1914 - the end of the movement, the first drawings of a modern city along with the Manifesto of the Futurist architecture, a blueprint for a utopian city, the New Town. They defend the iron and glass train stations and airplanes, the power plants and the elevators, etc. According to them, these were the symbols of a rejuvenation of the world.
The futuristic spirit will have its influence on later movements like Dadaism and Constructivism. Marcel Duchamp inspired the attitude of the tabula rasa, a Latin phrase that illustrates the action of not taking into account past events. Travel to Milan, the birthplace of this amazing art movement: to enjoy the city, rent Milan apartments, they are cheap and very comfortable!