Sep 12, 2009

La beauté de la vitesse

I am so completely jealous of all the fun futurism-related activity happening in the northern hemisphere to comemmorate the centennary of the Founding Manifesto. For kids there is a FuturTRAM in Milan(clearly this is the part that has me the most jealous), meanwhile in Rome there have been numerous exhibitions, not to mention a race around the city. Even London and San Francisco get a look in, with a major exhibition at the Tate and in the bay city, a "series of performances, lectures, and events will examine Futurism’s relationship to innovative artistic forms, radical and regressive politics, and performance work today."

The Tate exhibition has received a fair few unfavourable reviews, with reviewers citing numerous works exhibited in Rome and Paris which did not make the trip across the Channel, and a general failure to address Futurism's legacy for art and design today. By contrast, San Francisco's program, entitled Metal + Machine + Manifesto = Futurism’s First 100 Years, sounds far more interesting, as does Carmen C. Wong's futurist-inspired, seven course Tactile Dinner, taking place in Washington D.C. The production's press release promises a gastronomic revolution, and the menu sounds intriguing and inventive to say the least --
Course 1: Polyrhythmic Salad
Course 2: Aural Sensations
Course 3: Aerofood
Course 4: Magic Food
Course 5: Visual Nutrients
Course 6: Totalrice
Course 7: Tactile Vegetable Garden

It is in this spirit -- and with a general feeling of disappointment at the lack of interest in Futurism here in Melbourne that I post my last photos from my trip to Italy back in Jan-Feb. My last day was consumed by the madcap notion of taking a daytrip from Florence to Milan all in the name of catching a newly opened Futurist exhibition at Milan's Palazzo Reale before I flew back to Melbourne the following morning. I like to think that our journey there on the superfast Eurostar train, and then my jumbo jet the following day would be very much in accordance with the futurist mindset. Excerpts from the Founding Manifesto of Futurism taken from and

Nous déclarons que la splendeur du monde s'est enrichie d'une beauté nouvelle: la beauté de la vitesse. Une automobile de course avec son coffre orné de gros tuyaux tels des serpents à l'haleine explosive... une automobile rugissante, qui a l'air de courir sur de la mitraille, est plus belle que la Victoire de Samothrace.

We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

Nous voulons chanter l'amour du danger, l'habitude de l'énergie et de la témérité.

We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.

La littérature ayant jusqu'ici magnifié l'immobilité pensive, l'extase et le sommeil. Nous voulons exalter le mouvement agressif, l'insomnie fiévreuse, le pas gymnastique, le saut périlleux, la gifle et le coup de poing.

Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggresive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.

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