F.T. Marinetti

Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (December 22, 1876 ”“ December 2, 1944)

Marinetti is most noted for his authorship of the Futurist Manifesto, composed in 1908 and published on February 20, 1909 on the front page of the most prestigious French daily, Le Figaro.

The most successful "happening"' of that period was the launch of the Manifesto Against Past-Loving Venice from the belltower of Saint Mark's Basilica. In the flier, Marinetti calls for "fill(ing) the small, stinking canals with the rubble from the old, collapsing and leprous palaces" to "prepare for the birth of an industrial and militarized Venice, capable of dominating the great Adriatic, a great Italian lake".

In 1911, the Italo-Turkish War broke out and Marinetti, a convinced warmonger, did not shrink from the war-effort: he departed immediately for Libya as war correspondent for a French newspaper. His articles were eventually collected and published in The Battle Of Tripoli.

1914, April 28: Marinetti stages a pre-multimedia performance at the Doré Gallery, London, involving a telephone.

Marinetti and fascism

In early 1918 he founded the Partito Politico Futurista or Futurist Political Party, which only a year later was absorbed into Benito Mussolini's Fasci di combattimento, making Marinetti one of the first supporters and members of the Italian Fascist Party. He opposed Fascism's later canonical exultion of existing institutions, calling them "reactionary", and, after walking out of the 1920 Fascist party congress in disgust, withdrew from politics for three years. He however remained a notable force in developing the party thought throughout the regime's existence.

Throughout the Fascist regime Marinetti sought to make Futurism the offical state art of Italy but failed to do so. Mussolini was personally uninterested in art and chose to give patronage to numerous styles and movements in order to keep artists loyal to the regime.

Marinetti made numerous moves to ingratiate himself with the regime, becoming less radical and avant garde with each. He moved from Milan to Rome to be nearer the centre of things. He became an academician despite his condemnation of academies, married despite his condemnation of marriage, promoted religious art after the Lateran Treaty of 1929 and even reconciled himself to the Catholic church, declaring that Jesus was a Futurist.

In 1938, when Adolf Hitler included creations of Futurism in an exhibition deriding what Nazi propaganda called degenerate art, Marinetti persuaded Mussolini not to allow the exhibition entrance into Italy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinetti(external link)

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