http://jch.sagepub.com New Research on Futurism and its Relations with the Fascist Regime
Günter Berghaus Journal of Contemporary History 2007; 42; 149 DOI: 10.1177/0022009407071634 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jch.sagepub.com
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Journal of Contemporary History Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi, Vol 42(1), 149–160. ISSN 0022–0094. DOI: 10.1177/0022009407071634
Review Article New Research on Futurism and its Relations with the Fascist Regime
Patricia Chiantera-Stutte, Von der Avantgarde zum Traditionalismus. Die radikalenFuturisten im italienischen Faschismus von 1919 bis 1931, Frankfurt/Main and New York, Campus, 2002; Series: Campus Forschung, vol. 844; pp. 277; ISBN 3 593 37006 9 Marja Härmänmaa, Un patriota che sfidò la decadenza. F.T. Marinetti e l’idea dell’uomo nuovo fascista, 1929–1944, Helsinki, Academia scientiarum Fennica, 2000; Series: Suomalaisen Tiedeakatemian toimituksia. Sarja Humaniora = AnnalesAcademiae scientiarum Fennicae. Ser. Humaniora, vol. 310; pp. 379; ISBN 951 41 0887 6 In the past 25 years, nearly every major city in the western world, and quite a few in the eastern hemisphere, have had an exhibition on Futurism. In universities, Futurism has become a standard subject in all disciplines that concern themselves with the historical avant-garde and the profound changes intwentieth-century culture caused by modernism. Consequently, there has been a vast upsurge in publications — books, catalogues, essays — on Futurism, and scholars with a professional interest in this field find it increasingly difficult to keep track of them. In the year 2000, I had to compile a bibliography of Futurism in the international sphere, and space restriction obliged me to make a cut-off pointwhen my list had exceeded 3000 items. Six years later, the addenda to my bibliography have already surpassed 500 titles, and it is safe to assume that in the run-up to the 2009 centenary this number will increase even further. On the international exhibition circuit, the movement founded by F.T. Marinetti in 1909 still triggers a great deal of curiosity and exercises a captivating power over itsaudience. Most of this attention, rightly, is directed to the first years of its activity (primo futurismo) when its influence was most profound and its repercussions could be felt in all the arts of the period. But in recent years there has also been an interest in the second phase of the movement and its relationship with the political developments in interbellum Italy. The 1920s and 1930s werethe time of maximum diffusion of Futurism. Contrary to all previous intentions, it had become an institution that functioned better than any other artistic network of the period. Marinetti was not particularly discriminate when filling his ranks in order to demonstrate the
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Journal of Contemporary History Vol 42 No 1
importance of his organization. Most works that carried the Futurist trademark operated with an aesthetics that had been developed by the founding fathers in the 1910s and was now applied to the varied fields of interior design, fashion, ceramics, photography, cinema, etc. In...