The Politics of Aesthetics: Italian Futurism as a Political Movement, 1909-1923

Swatilekha Ahmed, Macquarie University

On 15 October 1908, a minor car accident was reported on the road to Domodossola, a city located in the Italian province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, north of Milan.[1] The driver of the new four-cylinder Fiat sports car had swerved to avoid a cyclist, driving himself and his passenger, a young mechanic, into a ditch on the side of the road. The pair were rescued by the fortunate appearance of two race car drivers from the nearby Isotta Fraschini factory. Both the cyclist and occupants escaped with only minor injuries.

The driver was Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the son of an Italian lawyer working in Alexandria and soon-to-be leader of the Italian Futurist movement. The following year he would describe the minor traffic incident in mythical and legendary proportions in his first manifesto.[2] From an early age, Marinetti, often known by his middle name Tommaso within his family, was a successful student at a French college in Alexandria, and later at the University of Pavia and Genoa, having established the short-running literary magazine Le Papyrus when he was 17-years-old. He was later involved with the Anthologie Revue, and published in La Plume, La Renovation Esthetique, Verse et Prose, Fortunio and the Theatre de l’Oeuvre.

In retrospect, it seems obvious that Marinetti’s interests did not lay in property deeds or contract negotiations, however, it was not until his accident in 1909 that his political ambitions became clear. Only a few months after the accident, the widely read newspaper Le Figaro published his first manifesto: ‘Manifesto of Futurism’ (Manifesto del Futurismo). With a little cajoling from Marinetti, now a prominent artist and intellectual, it had been splashed across the front page of the newspaper on 20 February 1909.[3] Soon after, the painters Carlo Carrà, Umberto Boccioni and Luigi Russolo, architect Antonio Sant’Elia and composers such as Francesco Pratella would join Marinetti’s movement.

Examining the publication of Marinetti’s The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (Le Futurisme) in 1909 and other texts and artworks of the period, this article will explore how the Futurist movement in Italy, led by Marinetti, constituted a political movement. Using the sociologist Theodore Abel’s definition of a political movement as a group of individuals seeking to establish social change through the promotion of a set of distinct issues and ideologies, this article argues that the early-twentieth-century Italian Futurists constituted a powerful political movement. Crucially, through establishing a new mode of political expression through aesthetic principles, they created a new role for intellectuals and art in Italian political life.[4]

In a period of intense disillusionment with Italian intellectual activity, the Futurists’ messages of rebirth and renewal responded to rising concerns surrounding modernisation and contemporary political thought.[5] Their use of the aesthetic elements of machines and technology constituted both a new way of incorporating aesthetics into political discourse and using aesthetics as a mode of political expression. By creating a totalising aesthetic representation of war through several visual, literary and verbal mediums, they promoted a new role for art and aesthetics in Italian political life. Indeed, as this article argues, Futurism was a potent political movement in the early twentieth century, seeking to establish social change and facilitating a new political role for many intellectuals through several different aesthetic mediums. It created a new space for intellectuals to promote and contribute to Italian politics in a way that had not been possible before.[6]

The publication of Marinetti’s The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, later followed by several other manifestos, was significant in the context of the political disillusionment amongst Italian intellectuals. Italian unification in 1860-1861 had accompanied an expectation amongst poets, authors and artists that they would finally have the opportunity to engage and contribute directly to national politics.[7] Historian Graziella Marchicelli has highlighted that many avant-garde artists of the period thought of themselves as occupying a privileged position in Italian cultural life and sought to provide distinctive political comments through their art.[8] Yet, continuing political instability and frequent changes to the Italian government, especially after the fall of Francesco Crispi’s liberal government in 1896, meant that Italy was plagued by unrest, rioting, unemployment and martial law.[9] Italian intellectuals were alienated from Italian social and political life and felt that if they wanted to play an active role in society, such a role would need to be redefined.[10]

Throughout the early twentieth century, several disillusioned intellectuals (including several later members of the Futurists) experimented with their ideas in Europe, including London, Berlin, Munich and Paris. Within the larger European environment these artists, writers and poets were exposed to Marxist, Nietzschean, Darwinist and Sorelist philosophies.[11] This exposure would prove especially important because it was an awareness of broader emerging social and political ideologies in Europe, as well as concerns over education, the slow process of industrialisation, rise of regionalism, parliamentary corruption and stagnancy, which would help give rise to a feeling that there was a growing need for Italian intellectuals to claim and assert a new political identity.[12]

The experimentation and rebellion that took place within Italian artistic and cultural circles in the early twentieth century, often encouraged by Marinetti, has been described by several historians as avant-garde and modernist. Historian Modris Eksteins’s work on modernism and modes of expression in Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century argues that the definition of modernism needs to consider not only artistic and literary modes of expression, but also social and political experimentation. Eksteins contends that artistic endeavours which promoted rebellion and experimentation against established modes of expression have an inextricable link with broader social and political change during the turn of the nineteenth century.[13]

In response to perceived political stagnancy in Italy, the Futurists’ ideas surrounding Italian restoration were increasing politicised, especially in their rhetoric on the aesthetic elements of tradition, rebirth and renewal. In particular, their concern with the aesthetics of old and new reflected growing concerns over the impact of modernity on contemporary Italian society. For example, the Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (Manifesto dei Pittori futuristi), authored by five emerging Futurist artists in Milan in 1910, made the connection between Italian intellectual progress and decay explicit: ‘Italy is still a land of the dead, an immense Pompeii of whitewashed sepulchres. Italy must be reborn, and its political resurgence is being followed by an intellectual resurgence.’[14] With this in mind, historian Lawrence Rainey has highlighted how Marinetti’s minor traffic accident, recounted at the beginning of this article, was later recreated into a birth scene of traumatic and emancipating modernity, heralding the beginning of the Italian Futurist movement.[15]

In The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism in 1909, Marinetti recalls how he stretched out in his car ‘like a corpse in its coffin’, but then revived under the violent ministration of the steering wheel: ‘a guillotine blade that menaced [his] stomach.’[16] In the manifesto, the violence of the steering wheel resuscitated both car and driver from looming death and decay. Indeed, the illustration of an industrially-charged urban environment was particularly important for the Futurist movement and would figure in many of the key manifestos.

The crash itself also reminded Marinetti of childbirth: ‘Maternal ditch, nearly full of muddy water … which reminded me of the sacred black breast of my Sudanese nurse.’[17] Evocations of colourful memories from Marinetti’s childhood set the scene for many of the later Futurist manifestos and implicitly imply an Italian rebirth which will cast away the existing failures of the parliamentary democracy. Marinetti’s use of cheerful childhood memories, juxtaposed with the trauma of childbirth, can be seen as a response to the sense of dislocation and instability caused by modernity. Like many others in Europe, the rapid technological and industrial changes of the early twentieth century were both a source of excitement and anxiety for Italian intellectuals. In the context of regionalism, illiteracy and an agriculturally dependant society, the Futurists viewed the Italian rebirth as possibly traumatic, but necessary.[18]

Historian and literary theorist Daniel Cottom has argued that Futurism’s integrity as a political movement was compromised as a result of its focus on the very past it sought to reject.[19] However, drawing from both historian Jay Winter’s and Eksteins’s explorations of what constituted modern or avant-garde in the early twentieth century¾that is, artists who not only disregarded but also adapted images of the past¾Italian Futurist writers and artists might better be seen to have expanded rather than violated the boundaries of previously acceptable modes of expression. Such is the case in the way they experimented with new ways of representing and using the past as a tool for political expression rather than rejecting the past entirely.[20]

For example, in Boccioni’s triptych, States of Mind: The Farewells, Those who go, Those who stay (Part I, Part II, Part III), the artist depicts several couples embracing in farewell as they leave each other at a train station in an effort to convey an impression of sadness and melancholy. By visually depicting a scene of ‘leaving behind’ people, Boccioni hints at ‘leaving behind’ past modes of expression. His inversion of both the past (i.e. those who did not get on the train) constituted a ‘stretching’ of acceptable modes of expression in order to promote the reconfiguration of the European metropolis where trains fractured senses of space and time in their ability to disrupt traditional understandings of speed and time.[21] In Boccioni’s triptych, the act of leaving behind those who are spectators rather than participants of a new and powerful modern development is intended to evoke a feeling of sadness rather than regret.[22] Viewers are permitted to be saddened by the process of Italian renewal, but not regretful of it.

The practice of looking towards the aesthetic elements of the past and inverting them through language of organic decay, vegetation, stagnancy and age was one of the key ways in which futurist manifestos sought to comment on and contribute to Italian political life.[23] As Marinetti exclaimed: Futurists ‘stand on the last promontory of the centuries! … why should we look back over our shoulders, when we intended to breach the mysterious doors of the Impossible?’ Certainly in their ideology, this effort to leave the past behind and look forward towards the future constituted a powerful, persuasive and aesthetic challenge to the traditional artistic forms which upheld the value of the traditional.[24]

In their efforts to carve out a new political role for intellectuals, Italian Futurists often used machine principles to comment on the reorganisation of the state. Artists such as the painter Russolo borrowed from machine and technological images to promote a favourable social reorganisation of Italian society that would encourage industrial, social and cultural development. Before Futurism, the machine was characteristically viewed as something external to man. In their work however, Futurists promoted an intimate alliance between man and machine by conflating mechanic metaphors with organic and domestic language.[25] Despite borrowing from Cubism’s language and techniques of movement, dislocation and dismemberment, Futurism departed from Cubism in its celebration of mechanics and machine principles.[26]

Influenced by European novelists such as Emile Verhaeren in Belgium and Emile Zola in France, as well as the increasing inequality in industrial development between North and South Italy, the glorification of the metropolitan and urban was at the centre of the Italian Futurist’s reorganisation principles.[27] In his work on the rise of the unified state at the beginning of the twentieth century, Andrew Hewitt highlights that in their depictions of Italy, the Futurists referred to the State as a body and the project of their politics as the liberation and renewal of the State body.[28] In many cases, the centrality of technology in the Futurists’ oeuvre is representative of both a desire for order and organisation as well as a vehicle of human and state liberation.[29]

The application of machine principles in Antonio Sant’Elia’s architectural works and his manifesto, Manifesto of Futurist Architecture (L’Architettura Futurista Manifesto) highlights how Futurists utilised machine principles to conceive of a reorganisation of the urban environment. As Sant’Elia wrote: ‘we must invent and rebuild our Futurist city like an immense and tumultuous shipyard … the Futurist house like a gigantic machine.’[30] The image evoked here is one of a mechanical utopia. Yet, there is also an element to Sant’Elia’s description¾an image of invention and reconstruction¾which builds on rather than rejects Italy’s long political history. Indeed, the Futurist house is likened to an ‘immense shipyard’ and a ‘gigantic machine’ which marries traditional images with the aesthetic elements of industrial modernity.

That said, the Futurist movement, as the name suggests, was often considered distinctive in the way it sought to break away from previous traditions. As Sant’Elia says regarding the built environment: ‘[futurist] architecture cannot be subject to any law of historical continuity. It must be as new as our state of mind is new.’[31] Sant’Elia’s argument for an approach to architecture which was unmarred by tradition was founded on the belief that each generation would build its own style of metropolis.[32] Echoing a sense of impermanence, similar to the Swiss-French architect and urban planner Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, often known as Le Corbusier, Sant’Elia’s ‘Futurist city’ evoked the same hope as in Founding and Manifesto of Futurism; that is, that each Italian generation would move forward and progress.[33]

The Italian Futurists’ depiction of urban populations reveals a preoccupation with machine principles as tools to improve societal organisation and thus directly address what they perceived as a lack of development in Italy. In particular, Umberto Boccioni’s work reflects on the influence of Socialism on social reorganisation within the built environment and the impact that technology has on the crowd. Both Boccioni’s Riot in the Galleria and The City Rises depict crowds within an urban setting and portray a sense of collective action.[34] In its depiction of labourers in the periphery of Milan, The City Rises can be interpreted as portraying a strength and collective determination of the male Italian crowd. The sympathetic depiction of the crowd of labourers aligns with Socialist and Marxist principles through its portrayal of them as a mobile and colourful mass.[35] Both paintings celebrate the energy of the urban crowd through a radiant light of polyphonic colour.

The urban crowd receives one of its most direct political treatments in Russolo’s The Revolt. In the painting, Russolo depicts a male crowd pushing towards some unseen destination. The use of strong colours and sharp lines prompts the viewer to look in the same direction as the aggressive crowd.[36] Importantly, The Revolt is an illustration of the Futurist reorganisation principle, also seen in Sant’Elia’s Manifesto of Futurist Architecture, where society is seen to take on a mechanical collective identity.[37] In the context of the Futurists’ concern that the Italian masses were underdeveloped compared to other European populations (including the French or Germans), as well as led by a failing and corrupt parliament, aesthetic representations of the reorganisation of the city and the crowd commented on and advanced one of the Futurists’ primary political goals: social reorganisation.[38] This form of social reorganisation was a process to the desired outcome of industrial, cultural and societal development.

The Futurists promotion of violence was another important political ideology which they espoused in their manifestos and art. Alongside the promotion of Italian renewal and the discarding of older modes of expression, the Futurists’ representations of violence and war provide strong evidence to support the argument that they constituted a potent and dynamic political movement in the early twentieth century. Historians Stephen Sharkey and Robert Dombrovski described the body of work produced by the Futurists as a ‘poetic correlative’ relevant to a state of perpetual strife and aggression.[39] They have argued that all Futurist representations of violence translated into a class ‘struggle’ because they were both a passive expression of a class situation as well as an active strategy to improve a class position.[40] Indeed, for the Futurists, the aesthetisation of politics found its ultimate expression in representations of war and violence.[41]

In The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, Marinetti’s claim that the Futurists intended to glorify war as the ‘only hygiene of the world’ highlights the movement’s preoccupation with the aesthetisation of war. At its heart, the movement intended to glorify ‘militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of anarchists, [and] beautiful ideas worth dying for.’[42] The French philosopher Georges Sorel’s doctrine of political violence, conflated with the philosophy of direct and destructive action pursuant to anarchism, consistently informed the Futurists’ exultation of war.[43] Historian Ernest Ialongo has argued that the theme of violence also connects to Futurism’s later connection with Fascism, alongside influences of Sorelism and anarchism.[44] The Italian Government’s membership in the Triple Alliance at the outbreak of the First World War did not immediately lead Italy to war, a fact which did not satisfy the bellicose ideologies of the Futurists who saw the war, as did many other intellectuals, as a chance to unify Italy.[45]

Sharkey and Dombrovski have discussed how Marinetti’s 1910 speech at Naples, ‘The Beauty and Necessity of Violence’, evoked Sorel’s 1908 essay on class struggle.[46] Similarly, other manifestos such as The Futurist Synthetic Theatre (Il teatro futuristica sintetico) by Marinetti, Emilio Settimelli and Bruno Corr in 1915 not only focussed on the aesthetics of war but also ideas of wilful power, the ubermensch and direct action. As they claimed in The Futurist Cinema (La cinematografia futurista) in 1915, the Futurists were ‘ … using our art to prepare the Italian sensibility for the great hour of maximum danger’. Indeed, it is ‘war, which is futurism intensified¾[which] demands that we march and not moulder.’[47] In The Futurist Cinema, war was to ‘satisfy all national aspirations’ and multiply ‘the innovative power of the Italian race.’[48] Historian Umbro Appollonio has noted the Futurist preference for using colourful polemic, and it is precisely this kind of verbal spectacle that contributed to the political status of Futurist discourse.[49] Through this new way of advocating political violence through aesthetic representation, the Futurists were able to transpose powerful metaphors of struggle, violence and war into a totalising artistic representation.[50]

Examining Futurist paintings produced in response to the First World War also reveals a heightened concern with violence and war. For example, Gino Severini’s Armored Train in Action and Canons in Action highlight the tensions and reactionary nature of the Futurists’ call to war. Armored Train in Action emphasises masculine bellicosity as well as the usurpation by machine. The men are uniform and faceless, and the bright colours towards the left of the painting emphasise the power and violence of collective militarism. However, despite their power, the men are simultaneously imprisoned inside the giant metallic body of a train, dwarfed by its clean and rigid lines. Poggi describes this as a juxtaposition of ‘abstract organic’ and metallic forms, where the detail given to each rivet grapple is representative of the force of modernity.[51]

Similarly, Severini’s Canons in Action represents soldiers as passive and mute in contrast to the vibrant lines and colours surrounding the tank.[52] What is striking about these artworks, even where the Futurists’ preoccupation with war might appear contradictory, is that the soldier clearly becomes part of the machinery and technology of wartime. The solider is simultaneously empowered by and subject to modern military machinery. In fact, it was this seemingly contradictory concern with violence and war, portrayed through the images of humans being subsumed by the machinery of war, which was a direct aesthetic response to modern industrial war.

Lastly, it is important to note that the very use of a manifesto also highlights an aesthetic preoccupation with representing and promoting war, which is one of the core tenets of futurist political thought. In a letter to painter Henry Maassen, Marinetti argued that in order to create a manifesto they required ‘de la violence et de la précision’ (violence and precision). It was a phrase which seemed to evoke the poet Ezra Pound’s theory of ‘words as machines’.[53]

Historian Marjorie Perloff notes that after the French revolution, manifestos were a medium for expressing antagonism against the ruling class or existing states of affairs.[54] In this vein, Carlo Carrà’s painting Interventionist Demonstration, which had a similar aim to Robert Delauney’s artwork Champs de Mars: The Red Tower, can be seen as having a similar purpose to a manifesto, especially as it borrows some of the visual elements from the medium.[55] The use of the slogan ‘Trieste Italiana Milano’, juxtaposed alongside fragments of Futurist manifestos, political pamphlets and advertisements for hygiene products, was an attempt at a totalising aesthetic representation of war through the promotion of war and violence. Perloff refers to the use of words alongside brightly coloured circular vortex as ‘visual overkill’, however, this view underestimates the social and political ambitions of Futurist aesthetics.[56] As Anne Bowler has argued, the visual cacophony in the wartime paintings were not just an attempt to create a new revolutionary art form, but also a medium for intellectuals in Italian society to establish a new political role.[57]

The Italian Futurists’ 1923 manifesto, The Italian Empire (To Benito Mussolini¾Head of the New Italy), privileged artistic and aesthetic conceptualisations of war by celebrating Mussolini’s Italy as ‘hostile to a monarchy that has been anti-artistic.’[58] The Futurists celebrated Fascism as ‘preparing an empire of genius, art, force, unequalism, beauty, mind, elegance, originality, colour, [and] fantasy.’[59] This focus on promoting and displaying something profoundly new and progressive amounted to a seemingly revolutionary movement at times, where the aesthetic was both a justification for war as well as a modern weapon in the hands of the Italian people.[60]

In the later years of the Futurist movement, Marinetti offered some advice to the Futurist composer Francesco Pratella:

In order to win over Paris and appear, in the eyes of all [of] Europe an absolute innovator, the most advanced of all, I urge you to get to work with all your heart, resolute on being bolder, crazier, more advanced, surprising, eccentric, incomprehensible, and grotesque than anybody else in music. I urge you to be a madman.[61]

Throughout the early twentieth century, Marinetti and the other Italian Futurists attempted to prompt social change in Italian political and cultural life by exploring and promoting the use of aesthetic representations of Italian rebirth, renewal, social reorganisation, violence and war. Crucially, their efforts fulfilled Abel’s definition of a political movement as a group attempting to establish social change.[62] Furthermore, through promoting artistic rebellion, the Futurists’ work was inextricably linked to wider political and cultural change. Their central goal of Italian rebirth, even with its associated trauma, acknowledged the history of Italian nationalism but also sought to separate itself from it.

For the Futurists, the modern machine and aggressive promotion of war became the core concepts at the heart of the promotion of social development, organisation, architecture and violence, as distinctly detached from Italian artistic tradition. Indeed, it was this effort to emphasise a distinctive detachment from tradition, encapsulated in Marinetti’s idea of being ‘bolder, crazier, more advanced, surprising, eccentric, incomprehensible and grotesque’ than anybody else that lay at the core of the Futurist political movement.[63]

[1] Il Corriere della serra, 15 Oct 1908, cited in Lawrence Rainey, ‘Introduction: FT Marinetti and the Development of Futurism,’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 5.

[2] See Christine Poggi, Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism, (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008), 7-8.

[3] Rainey, ‘Introduction,’ 2-6.

[4] Theodore Abel, ‘The Pattern of a Successful Political Movement,’ American Sociological Review Vol. 2, No. 3 (1937), 348.

[5] Emil Oestereicher, ‘Fascism and the Intellectuals: The Case of Italian Futurism,’ Social Research Vol. 41, No. 3 (1974), 526; Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, ‘Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (1910),’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 62-63.

[6] Stephen Sharkey and Robert Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics: The Futurist Solution,’ Journal of European Studies Vol. 6, No. 4 (1976): 232.

[7] Ibid., 231.

[8] Graziella Marchicelli, ‘Futurism and Fascism: The Politicisation of Art and the Aesthetisation of Politics, 1909-1944’ (PhD diss., University of Iowa, 1996), 10.

[9] Harry Hearder, Italy: A Short History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 208.

[10] Sharkey and Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics,’ 231.

[11] Ibid.; Theda Shapiro, Painters and Politics, (New York: Elsevier Publishing, 1973), 104-105.

[12] Oestereicher, ‘Fascism and the Intellectuals: The Case of Italian Futurism,’ 525.

[13] Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, (London: Bantam Press, 1989), xv-xvi.

[14] Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Balla and Severini, ‘Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (1910),’ 62.

[15] Rainey, ‘Introduction,’ 5.

[16] Marinetti, ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909),’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 49.

[17] Ibid., 50.

[18] Pierpaolo Antonello and Marja Härmänmaa, ‘Introduction: Future Imperfect¾Italian Futurism between Tradition and Modernity,’ The European Legacy Vol. 14, No. 7 (2009), 778

[19] Daniel Cottom, ‘Futurism, Nietzsche, and the Misanthropy of Art,’ Common Knowledge Vol. 13, No. 1 (2007), 90.

[20] Eksteins, Rites of Spring, xvi.

[21] Poggi, Inventing Futurism, 20.

[22] Ibid., 21.

[23] Marinetti, ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909),’ 51.

[24] Antonello and Härmänmaa, ‘Introduction,’ 779.

[25] Sharkey and Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics,’ 237.

[26] Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change, (London: Thames and Hudson, 2012), 43-48.

[27] James Joll, Three Intellectuals in Politics, (United Kingdom: Pantheon Books, 1960), 135-136.

[28] Andrew Hewitt, Fascist Modernism: Aesthetics, Politics and the Avant-Garde (California: Stanford University Press, 1993), 144.

[29] Ibid., 146-147.

[30] Antonio Sant’Elia, ‘Futurist Architecture (1914),’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 200.

[31] Ibid., 199.

[32] Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla, Futurism, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1993), 130.

[33] Ibid., 130.

[34] Poggi, Inventing Futurism, 65.

[35] Ibid., 82.

[36] Ibid., 49.

[37] Ibid., 50.

[38] Oestereicher, ‘Fascism and the Intellectuals,’ 523.

[39] Sharkey and Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics,’ 235.

[40] Ibid., 233.

[41] Anne Bowler, ‘Politics as Art,’ Theory and Society Vol. 20, No. 6 (1991), 788.

[42] Marinetti, ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism,’ 51.

[43] Bowler, ‘Politics as Art,’ 768.

[44] Ernest Ialongo, ‘The Futurist as Fascist, 1929-37,’ Journal of Modern Italian Studies Vol. 18, No. 4 (2013), 398; Shapiro, Painters and Politics, 109, 126.

[45] Christopher Duggan, A Concise History of Italy, (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 189.

[46] Sharkey and Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics,’ 240.

[47] F.T. Marinetti, Emilio Settimelli, Bruno Corra, ‘The Futurist Synthetic Theatre (1915),’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 204.

[48] Ibid., 229.

[49] Umbro Appollonio, Futurist Manifestos, (United Kingdom: Thames and Hudson, 1976), 9.

[50] Sharkey and Dombrovski, ‘Revolution, Myth and Mythical Politics,’ 235.

[51] Poggi, Inventing Futurism, 176.

[52] Ibid., 178.

[53] Marjorie Perloff, The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre and the Language of Rupture (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1976), 81; David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1990), 31.

[54] Perloff, The Futurist Movement, 82.

[55] Hughes, The Shock of the New, 38.

[56] Perloff, The Futurist Moment, 63.

[57] Bowler, ‘Politics as Art,’ 765.

[58] F.T. Marinetti, Mario Carlo and Emilio Settimelli, ‘The Italian Empire (To Benito Mussolini – Head of the New Italy) (1923),’ in Futurism: An Anthology, eds. Christine Poggi, Laurence Rainey and Laura Wittman (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 274.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Poggi, Inventing Futurism, 52.

[61] Rainey, ‘Introduction: FT Marinetti and the Development of Futurism,’ 4.

[62] Abel, ‘The Pattern of a Successful Political Movement,’ 348.

[63] Rainey, ‘Introduction: FT Marinetti and the Development of Futurism,’ 4.