This blog entry wants to praise futurism as a revolutionary movement that helped shaping modern culture in Italy and all around the world. This entry doesn’t want to praise, in any way, the negative sides of such movement like its alignment with Fascism.
It is no news that thanks to his eccentric persona, Marinetti made Futurism a worldwide phenomenon. Selena Daly, expert in Futurism at University College Dublin praised Marinetti as a master at advertising and self-promotion.
Marinetti’s vision of the future was built around high praise for technology and the aesthetics of modernity. Marinetti’s main purpose was to celebrate the power of speed. Indeed, Futurism pretty much kicked after Marinetti’s famous, controversial quote: “We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.” (Marinetti, 1909).
Unfortunately, Futurism became well known at the time also due to its inevitable links to fascism and Benito Mussolini. As Daly explains, “some Futurists distanced themselves from it. But others did not.” After Marinetti’s death “there were surviving Futurists who did try to keep Futurism alive, but there was a reluctance in many circles to really address this movement on its merits because of the shadow of Fascism that was hanging over it.” (Daly, 2017)
There is no doubt that Futurists did help shape the way others in the 20th century went on to imagine what the future could look like. “BMW recently said they were influenced by the Futurist aesthetic in the design of one of their cars. The Futurist aesthetic still has a very profound influence on the language of advertising.” (Daly, 2017)
So while Marinetti’s controversial vision of the future may have been born out of a specific political moment, it continues to resonate through time.
Daly, S. (2017). How the Italian Futurists shaped the aesthetics of modernity in the 20th century. [online] The conversation. Available at: http://theconversation.com/how-the-italian-futurists-shaped-the-aesthetics-of-modernity-in-the-20th-century-73033 [Accessed 9 Apr. 2017].