Friday, July 29, 2011

Futurist manifesto Summary paper, (what the teacher seems to want)

Hey guys, Forgacs seemed to like this paper so i'm putting it up here. I think when i wrote this paper. I ended up formulating many of my own opinions instead of 100% summarizing and expressing my opinions with specific support from the text. Be as specific as possible and u should be good.

Thoughts on “The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism”

“The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism” written by Filippo Marinetti highlights the key ideas behind the Futurist movement in which Marinetti himself is the initiator. Marinetti starts his manifesto by describing old versus new, personifying various places and machines.  He describes the old palaces as “sickly” while saying that myth and old ways of thinking are gone, “defeated at last”. Marinetti’s words are very forceful as he vividly personifies the engines in ships and locomotives. He portrays these engines as demonic. However his description sounds, he isn’t demonizing the technology, rather he is standing in awe of industrial might. Marinetti’s automobile is his steed that he fearlessly rides happily tempting death, but as he drove around a corner he had swerve to avoid two cyclists causing his car to flip over into a muddy ditch. Marinetti rose from the accident exhilarated by the near death experience.
            He attributes his Futurist manifesto to this near death experience ushering in a movement that was inspired by the industrial energy and speed of the automobile. Marinetti, in his manifesto, encourages dangerous thrill-seeking and great struggle to achieve beauty saying that without struggle there is no beauty. Marinetti condemned all academies and museums that studied old works comparing them to cemeteries that aren’t worth focusing on, also condemning old moralities in favor of logic as well as feminism. The Futurist Manifesto was very much anarchistic.
            Marinetti highlights a very interesting point about human nature which is the need for struggle. In literature, all stories require struggle, some kind of conflict for it to be interesting, whether the struggle is internal or external. Revolutions bring about change but are often violent. In that respect he is right, however this view is on the extremist side. He doesn’t simply state violence as a necessary evil. In this manifesto, it seems as if he views it as purely the greater good. His view of the greater good is too simplistic because ignoring history or the atrocity of war isn’t futuristic. Without the past we have no foundation to build upon for the future and without understanding the sacrifice made by previous revolutionaries people now wouldn’t appreciate what they have. Without the steam engine, Marinetti would not have the combustion engine that is the heart of his beloved automobile.
What separates the futurist movement from the previous art movement is the focus on the external understanding. Marinetti constantly elaborates upon experience, finding the next speedy thrill. Cubism on the other hand was an internalized dissection on how an artist views its subject. More importance was placed on the perspective of the artist rather than the subject itself. Historically, mankind has constantly jumped from one extreme to another. As each extreme becomes an established norm, that extreme then becomes a conservative view, waiting for the next extreme idea to be unveiled. With that in mind, people viewing his work should try to take it with a grain of salt understanding the benefit of struggle and revolution, understanding the external without forgetting the internal.

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