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Futurist Photography

Author(s): Giovanni Lista


Source: Art Journal, Vol. 41, No. 4, Futurism (Winter, 1981), pp. 358-364
Published by: College Art Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/776447
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Futurist

Photography

Giovanni Lista
of the avant-garde
Amongall the movements
of the firsthalfof the twentiethcentury,it is
certainlyin Futurismthatthe mostprofound
between
andmoststudiedrelationships
painting
and photographyare to be found.Starting
fromtheirownNeo-Impressionist
conceptof
tried
Futurists
the
coherently
representation,
to assimilateinto theirpaintingsuggestions
mechanofthecamera's
madebytheconquests
icaleye.Atthesametime,thankstotheprogress
in technology,
hadbegunanevophotography
lutionof itsown,becoming
a meansforformalizingimagesof activemotion.Manyphotographers abandonedthe directvisualyield-a
concept-in favorof the
banallynaturalistic
andthemetaof theinfrasensorial
investigation
in
perceptive.It was preciselythisrevolution
to
introFuturists
wanted
which
the
perception
Asa working
duceintotheirpainting.
approach
theyturnedto bothscientificandspiritualistic
to findappropriate
imagesfortheir
photography
influcanvases.Marey'schronophotographs
andoccasionally
encedFuturist
paraEuropean
Futurist
Burliuk,Larionov,
Malevich,
painting:
and Goncharovain Russia;Duchampand
and
Dunoyerde Segonzacin France;Civistek
in Poland;Balla,Russolo,and
Nicz-Borowiak
codeof Marey
Carrain Italy.Theiconographic
wasadoptedbytheItalians,however,eitherin
a playfulandironicdimension,as in thecase
of Dynamismofa Dogon a LeashbyBalla,or
in a spiritof lyrical
forresearchintomovement
For themthe formalmarksin
subjectivism.
Marey'simagesservedto conveynotrealism
Funeralof
butpsychicvalues.Thus,in Carra's
the AnarchistGalli,the repeatedindications
of the demonstrators'
clubsdo not so much
representmotionas theyexpresstheviolence
of the blowsexchanged.Thusthesemiosisof
Marey'smovementwas adoptedby Carrafor
an emotivefunction.
alsousedotherformalsuggesTheFuturists
tionsof contemporary
techniques.
photographic
358

ArtJournal

Sorbonnein Paristo recordandanalyze"photographsof invisiblebeings."Thevolumesof


which
bythiscommittee,
photographs
published
F r. .NA.>
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- ?*?l? *tFr t. 11?
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numberedamongitsmembersmenof science
LA FOTOGRAFIA
FUTURISTA
like Charles-Robert
Richet,compriseda colManifesto
force:
lectionof materialof greatimaginative
of ghosts,
thedoublingof theEgo,apparitions
of matter,
weightlessbodies,the evanescence
:l' t
.1
etc. It was possibleto drawfrom them a
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:~b
fi:i!c?i
-? ?n?1
content
generalconceptof theanti-naturalistic
jcn~~~~hil.'l
~~~~~~~~~~~9~~cl~~~~~~~~~"_~~
~~~~
~lil~
were
of animage-an ideawhichtheFuturists
!j-ggtiir
aarcl
thenreadyto adopt.Russolo,forexample,was
to painta Self-Portrait
withEtherialDouble.
11
Fromthisdialoguebetweenpicture-making
a creativehypotheandphotographic
imagery,
sis for Futuristphotography
developed,demvocationof
onstratingthe multi-disciplinary
in its attempts
to renewalmost
ItalianFuturism
all fieldsof humanexpression.
is emThehistoryof Futurist
photography
theinvention
bracedbytwomajoroccurrences:
ofthe1910s;
atthebeginning
. LaFotografia
Futurista- of photodynamics
Fig. 1 FT Marinetti,
the
exhibitions
of
and
Manifesto
phoavant-garde
group
(Futurist
Photography-Manifesto);
whichwereheldat thebeginningof
in
dated11 April1930andpublished
tography
the 1930s. The protagonistof the firstwas
IIFuturismo,
11January1931.
AntonGiulioBragaglia
who, afterhe became
For example,in 1911 Boccioniused optical familiarwithMarey'sworks(alreadyusedby
of
distortions,like those causedby wide-angle Balla) begana studyof the photography
whichwasbasedonthe"synthesis"
lenses,in orderto posita radiating
perspective movement
and thereforeto locate"thespectatorin the of the trajectory
of the changein positionof
of the thebodyinspace,andnotonMarey's
centerof the picture."Thecurvature
positivistic
AntonGiulioBragaglia's
visual field was thus seen as a meansfor analysisof movement.
of thelinearper- research,withthe technicalassistanceof his
overcomingthe restrictions
from
theQuattrocento. brothersArturoandCarloLudovico,
inherited
ledto the
spectivesystem
the publicationin Romein 1912 of the volume
Anotherbasicconceptof Futurist
painting,
of bodies,"alsohadits origins Fotodinamismo
"transparency
futurista. Thiswas the first
to
in photography.
Boccioniand othersof the essayon photographic
theoryandaesthetics
of thetwentiFuturistshadan intenseinterestin themedi- be producedbytheavant-garde
thenvery ethcentury.
umisticandspiritualistic
experiments
researchat first
evidence
muchinvogue,forwhichphotographic
photodynamic
Bragaglia's
with
financial
documen- hadMarinetti's
backing,together
playedtheroleof pseudo-scientific
the spiritualbackingof Boccioniwhoaspired
tation.In 1909a Comited'Etudesde la Phowasformedatthe to theroleof theoretical
guidefortheFuturistic
tographietranscendentale

IL FUTURISMO

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Boccionisawin Bragapainters.In particular


a meansofsurpressing
Balla's
glia'sexperiments
moreobviouslycinematicmotionstudies.The
backersofphotodynamics
felta needtosurpass
Balla'sanalytic
kineticisms
Marey,andregarded
uselessas a basiccanonforFuturist
painting.
convicAtthe beginningof 1913,Bragaglia's
tions led him to assumethe role of official
aesthetic,a stand
spokesmanfor the Futurist
whichsoon provokedBoccioni'sresentment.
Moreover,at the sametime,thedevelopment
of Cubismandtheconsequentassimilation
by
of its proceduresforthedecomthe Futurists
modified
positionof theobjecthadprofoundly
andcreativeorientation
of their
thetheoretical
As
a
in
the
result,
1913,
September
painting.
situationhadbecomestrainedandtheFuturist
photopaintersofficiallydisownedBragaglia's
resultedin an
dynamics.This confrontation
in the researchof the Bragaglia
interruption
brothers.AfterthisdatetheFuturists'
interest
in photography
doesnotdisappear
butbecomes
1912.
Fig. 3 AntonGiulioandArturo
Bragaglia,TheSlap.Photodynamics,

<:

:f::a::::

D0;fr',,
:

rig. Z Anton(lUIZoBragaglza,lne SmoKer.

1911.Theperson
is
Photodynamics,
depicted
probablytheFuturistpainter
LuigiRussolo.
more fragmentary,
remainingsecondaryto
otherconcernsin theirpainting.
Nevertheless,
towardthe end of the 1920s photography
returnedto take a leadingrole in Futurist
creation,at first throughphoto-collageand
photo-montage,and then throughresearch
into otherinnovative
techniques.Thisreturn
of interestin photography
coincidedwith a
similarfascination
forthemediumthroughout
the Europeanavant-garde
whichtook place
towardthe end of the 1920s whenthe first
portable photographicequipmentbecame
widelyavailable.
Duringthisperiodsomeofficialmanifestationstookplaceunderthebannerof "fotografia
futurista."Thefirstsystematic
of
cataloguing
this researchcameaboutthanksto the Sala Fig.4 Depero,Threephotographic
t
self-portraits
sent
to Carraa
Carrain
Photography,
1915.
1915.Emblematic
1915.
Fig. Depero,
Three
photographic
self-portraits
sentto
in 1915.
Emblematic
Photography,
Futurista
Mari("Futurist
Salon")organized
by
netti and Tatoon the occasionof the First
NationalPhotographic
whichwas of which statedthe principalaestheticprorior characterization
of figuresand objects
Competition
held in Romein September1930. For this posals which inspiredthe Futurists'photo- possiblethroughthe creativeuse of photoexhibitionMarinetti
andTatoalsolauncheda graphicresearch.Themanifestostressedthe
graphictechniques(Fig. 1).
thetext dramatic,other-worldly,
andinteThefirstof themajorexhibitions
tookplace
immaterial,
ManifestodellaFotografiafuturista,
Winter1981

359

in September
1931in Turin,a citywhichfrom
the beginningof the centuryhadalwaysbeen
rein the avant-garde
of Italianphotographic
Exhibisearch.ItwascalledtheExperimental
andincludedthe
tionof Futurist
Photography
exhibitors.Withsome
works of twenty-two
andwiththeadditionof several
modifications,
whohadonlyrecentlyadopted
photographers
the
waspresented
inMilan,
exhibition
Futurism,
andthenin
on the occasionof theTriennial,
Trieste.In December1932,theFuturists
parBiennialof
ticipatedin the FirstInternational
Artorganized
in RomebyFascist
Photographic
Someforeignavant-garde
culturalinstitutions.
were includedin the Futurist
photographers
theGermans,
sectionof thisexhibition:
Kesting,
Halke;theAmerican,
Ernst,Kulley,Karkoska,
Antonelli;the Belgian,Stone;andthe Swede,
Winquist.Lastly,a gallerywas dedicatedto
photographyat the GrandNationalFuturist
Exhibition
whichwasheldin Romein October
1933. Afterthis date Futuristphotographic
researchcontinuedless activelyin termsboth
of critical
of exhibitions
andof thepublication
textsand aesthetictheory.It is necessaryto
Portrait.
TheAnti-naturalistic
turnto theseFuturistexhibitions
of the early Fig. 5ArturoBragaglia,Polyphysiognomic
1930.
Portrait,
the
1930s, however,in orderto understand
most significantaspectsof avant-garde
phoin Italyduringthoseyears.Theabstract
tography
of LuigiVeronesiandthephotophotographs
gramsof BrunoMunari,for example,could
nothavecomeintobeingwithoutthehistorical
antecedentsof earlierFuturistphotography
andits creativeexperiments.
The expressivedirectionsof Futuristphoundersimplified
tographycanbe summarized
categoriesdividedaccordingto their main
as follows:
formalcharacteristics
Thisis
Photodynamics
(Lafotodinamica).
to the
thenamegivenbyAntonGiulioBragaglia
ofmovement
whichhe carriedout
photographs
between1911and1913(Figs. 2 and 3), with
theassistanceof hisbrothersArturo
andCarlo
werepresented
Ludovico.Thesephotographs
inone-manexhibitions
duringthesameperiod.
must
from
Photodynamics be distinguished
in thatit aims Fig. 6 WandaWultz,I + Cat.Futurist
Marey's"chronophotography"
rzg. / iato, mneroetu aixssoa.ruturzs
of a Portrait,1932.
to renderin thesynthesisof thetrajectory
Portrait,1932.
movingform the psychicimpressionof its
gesture.Forthe segmentedimagesof Marey, WandaWultzcarriedout researchin photo- 1915Deperocontinuedin thesamedirection
to (Fig. 4), givingvisualformto the coup de
basedon the repetitionof partsof a moving dynamicsin otherways,tryingin particular
in his founding
substituted
a luminous correctthe tendencytowardthe totaldisap- poing celebratedbyMarinetti
body,photodynamics
of pearance of objectiveimagerywhich was manifestoof theFuturist
of forms,suggesting
movement.
Tato2exeanepiphany
fluidifying
the vitalenergyinherentin matter.Fixingon threatenedin the first experimentsof the cutedextravagant
self-portraits,
usinggrotesque
the plate the kineticexpressionof a body Bragaglia
brothers.
costumesandeffects,andalludingwithirony
artist.
EmblematicPhotography(Lafotografia to his roleas avant-garde
Bragamovingin spacein a singletrajectory,
useof photogTheAnti-naturalisticPortrait(IIritratto
glia wantedto recordreality"unrealistically"emblematica).Theconceptual
which raphygoesbackto theperiodbridging
thedynamic
sensation
thetwo antinaturalista). Attackingthe naturalistic
through"evoking
thetranscendental
forexample,
Toulouse-Lautrec,
posed vision of reality,Marey'schronophotographs
aspectof a gestureproduces centuries.
of creating hadgivenrealitya newformalization
on theretina,on thesenses,on thespirit."1 in frontof thelenswiththeintention
basedon
limitedto
Researchin photodynamics
was takenup a highlychargediconicdocument
throughthe repetition,but it was nevertheless
who imageof his distortedposture.TheFuturists elementsunderstoodthroughthe perceptive
againin the 1920s by ArturoBragaglia
in thecollectiveexhibition
laterparticipated
of developedthis kind of researchin a very capacitiesof thehumaneye.Bragaglia's
photoFuturist
in incisiveway.Ballahadportraits
andallusive
madeof him- dynamics,
instead,addeda fantastic
photography
organized
byMarinetti
in 1930.Following
him,AlbertoMontacchini, self in gesturalposeswhichweredramatiza- dimensionto the retinalimage,thusseeming
EuroCivis(pseudonym
for LivioTanzi),and tionsof theFuturist
In to objectifythe latentcontents,psychicalor
revolutionary
program.
360

ArtJournal

whichaccompany
theactionof
metasensorial,
the object seen (Fig. 5). The phantasmic
thussugevocationof a gestureor movement
its
of
second
the
revelation
beingwith
gested
its secondlayerof internalmeaning.Someof
Bragaglia'sphotographsattemptednot the
recordingof a kineticevent,buta variedand
of a subjectalmost
differentiated
recapturing
as if it werepossibleto renderthefacetingof
theEgoratherthanthephysiological
chrysalis
a new
withinwhichit lives.Fromthisapproach
portrait
(Fig. 6)
genrewasborn-the Futurist
ofgivinga totalsug-which, withtheintention
gestionof allaspectsofthesubjectrepresented,
psyvariouslyassumedallegorical,narrative,
dimensions,
chological,or characterological
into"spiritualistic
evencrossingtheboundary
Sucheffectswerepracticed
byTato
portraits."
usedwereinventive:
(Fig. 7). Thetechniques
surrealsuperimpressions;
fantastic
kineticisms; Fig. 8 Giuseppe
Abstract
1939.
LightWeaving.
Albergamo,
Photography,
with
differentiated
content;expresrepetitions
iiU !:i:/~?:0
andalterations;
sivedeformations
fluidifi........
.... -~
partial
cations of the image;analogicalcouplings;
rememberedimages;etc. Fromthe 1910s,
with the Bragagliabrothersand NicolaDe
Aldisio(andcontinuedin the 1920swithGiuCivis,GiulioParisio,Mario
seppe Guarnieri,
andothers),
Castagneri,
LuigiVaghi,IvosPacetti
ep
Futurist
numerous
variphotography
proposed
ationsof theanti-naturalistic
portrait,
anticipating the Vorticistresearchof A.L.Coburnand
theRussianavant-garde
(forexaminfluencing
The
of
this
inheritance
research
ple, Lissitzky).
is to be foundin the 1930sin theworkof Man
Krull,as wellas theGerman
RayandGermaine
Morerecently,the
photographic
avant-garde.
celebratedportraitof Duchampof 1953 by
VictorObsatzwithouta doubtrepresentsan
unconscious
re-useof theFuturist
approach.
Abstract
astratPhotography
(Lafotografia
of art/life/
movement
ta). As a revolutionary
feltan ethicaltension
action,ItalianFuturism
whichimpededthefulldevelopment
of abstraction in visualart.Marinetti
had assumedan
explicitpositionin this respect,claimingfor
art the role of an immediaterevolutionary
instrument.3
Thisis themainreasonwhyabstract
remained
of secondary
photography
importance
as an aim for the Futurists,
eventhoughabstractionhadbeenapproached
in theevanesThePerfect
9
TheDiguisingofObjects,
1931.
Bourgeois.
centphotodynamics
of theBragaglia
brothers. Fig. Tato,
Creativeexperiments
werecarriedoutin this
directionaround1930,however.
Raffaele
Baldi studiedeffectsoflightandshadowin disguising Such semanticre-definitionof objectsalso
madeextemporaneous
photographic
impres- objectswas to suggesta realitywhichwas inspirestheir reassemblageon a structural
sions with the photographic
camerawithout differentfrom the realityrepresented.The level. In this sense the genrecan be vaguely
lens. Tatoand Guarnieri
associatedwith the principlesof the readyproducedprintsby best-knownexemplarof this approachis a
directcontactwithoutregisteringanyiconic photograph
different
byTatoentitledThePerfectBour- madeor the Surrealist
ghost-object,
referenceto the object.Amongthe veryfirst geois (II Perfetto borghese)in which the as theyare.Thedisguisingof objectsalsowas
in Italywere illusoryeffectof a manseatedata tableis sug- practicedby Guarnieri,
RiccardoRicas,and
examplesof abstract
photography
the"lightweavings"(tessituredi luce) bythe gestedbya jackethungon a crutch(Fig. 9).
finally,in a clearlyDadaistform,by Farfa
FuturistGiuseppe
for VittorioTommasini).
likethe
Oneof
Albergamo
(Fig. 8), which Therealisticdatain thecomposition,
(pseudonym
constituted
a culmination
of hisearlierexperi- handsin the foreground,chargethe image hisvariantsof thismodeis his "spectralization
mentalresearch.
withsurrealhumor.Thedisguisingof objects of objects,"anapproachto whichBellusialso
The Disguising of Objects (II camuf- aims at effectsof surprisewhichare often appliedhimselfextensively.
Bymeansof shadfamento di oggeti). UnderthisformulaTato suppliedbygivingthematerialusedanthropo- ows, eccentricviewpoints,and irregularenlauncheda newgenre.Theuse of extremely morphicor mimeticconnotations
(Fig. 10).
largements,the photographicimageswere

Winter1981

361

TheDisguising
1931.
ofObjects,
Fig. 10 Tato,TheBallerina.

11PieroBoccard,TheTurinIncubus.
Kineticized
Fig.
193.1 Photography,
Fig. 11 PieroBoccardi,TheTurinIncubus.
Kineticized
Photography,
1931.
alienatedfromeachother,giving
semantically
them a fantasticaura, or halo of mystery,
whichcancelledtheirobjectivedatumwithout
the introductionof a new "semanticizing"
(orderingprinciple).
Aerial
Aerophotography
(L'aerofotografia).
waspracticed
intheFuturist
circle
photography
duringthesecondhalfof the 1920sespecially
by FedeleAzari.A painterand aviator,Azari
362

ArtJournal

providedthe principalinspirationfor the


launchedin 1929
Manifestodell'Aeropittura
by the Futuristmovement.Startingin 1930
fromthe theoreticalprinciplesstatedin this
manifesto,FilippoMasoerodevelopedfotografia aerea in a verypersonalway.Masoero
adoptedthebasictechniqueofphotodynamics
-that is, thecontinuedopeningof theshutter
-to makeaerialphotographs
duringacrobatic

flightsandparachute
jumps.Inthiscase,however, it was the camerawhichmovedrather
thantheobjectsbeingphotographed.
Hisaerowiththeirimmediate
photographs,
registration
of thevitalactin thread-like
marks,represent
a sort of photographic
"actionpainting"on
whichis recordedtheFuturist
in
participation
thecosmicdynamism
ofHeraclitus.
Fromthese
werebornthe cryptophobic
and
experiments
phantasmickineticismsof Piero Boccardi
simi(Fig. 11) andMasoerowhoanticipated
larworksbyBurybysomedecades.
Photo-collage(Ilfotocollaggio).Thisis an
expressivetechniquewhichmakesuse of the
reciprocalinteractionbetweendrawingand
it preceded
photographic
cuttings.
Historically,
whichis basedinsteadon the
photo-montage,
ofdifferent
syntacticarticulation
photographic
of photoimages.Theaestheticcharacteristic
collagearisesfromthe dialecticbetweenthe
of reality"and the
photographic
"fragments
manual
imaginative
signsof the handof the
artist(Fig. 12). ThefirstFuturist
examplein
thismodeis a workbyCarramadeto serveas
one of theillustrations
in hisGuerrapittura
of
1915:FrenchOfficerObservestheMovesof
the Enemy(Ufficialefrancesecheosservale
mosse del nemico). Towardthe end of the
waswidelyusedbyNicola
1920sphoto-collage
Elia
BrunoAschieri,and
Vottero,
Diulgheroff,
whomadeuse of it bothas a
AugustoCernigoi
andfordidacticor propapoliticalinstrument
gandaendswithintheFuturist
programof the
celebration
oftechnological
civilization.
Avery
of thephoto-collage
originalapplication
principle (in a Dadaistform)was IvoPannaggi's
"postalcollages"inwhichpostofficeworkers
collaborated
unknowingly
byaddingtheirofficial stamps.4
PaperComposition(Lacomposizionedi
carta). Atthe firstexhibitionof Futurist
photographyheldin Romein 1930,LuigiPirrone
presentedsomeimagesrealizedbymeansof a
mosaicof coloredpapercuttings.Whenthese
creations
werephotographed,
a bas-relief
effect
wasproducedthroughthewidelyspreadrange
of greys.Pirronelaterdevelopedhis "paper
painting"(cartopittura),whichhe claimed
as hisowninvention
tothepointof carrying
on
a polemicalargumentwithMatisse.5Parisio
and Guarnierilater executedthree-dimensional "papercompositions"
(composizioni
di carta) similarto smallmodelsfor theater
sets(Fig. 13). Thesewereconstructed
of thin
andverysugpaperwhichcreateddiaphanous
imagesbasedon themost
gestivephotographic
delicateshadowsandtransparencies.
Avariant
of this approachcan be seen in Boccardi's
of glasselementsalsocreatedin
compositions
the early1930s.
Photo-montage(IIfotomontaggio).The
Futuristsadoptedthe techniqueof photomontagefrom foreignavant-gardegroups,
DadaandSurrealism
in particular.
Thedirect
proceduresof cuttingto createphoto-montage
had appealedto themless thantechniques

1928.
Paladini,TheTimeMachine.
Photo-collage,
Fig. 12 Vinicio

1927.
Paladini,Imaginist
Photo-montage.
Fig. 14 Vincio

theConvent.
Fig. 13 GiulioParisio,Leaving
1931.
Papercomposition,
whichallowedforthepartialsuper-imposition
moreunconstrained
of imagesandtheresulting
Tato
articulation.
andmorecinematicsyntactic
of opaque
had establishedthe "transparency
bodies"as a Futuristphotographic
principle
images
creatinga montageof super-imposed
similarto the "dissolve"on a moviescreen
the passagefromone cinewhichpunctuates
matic sequenceto another.In Italyphotomontagedidnottakeholduntiltheendof the
1920s, andthenlargelythroughtheworkof
VinicioPaladiniwho was alignedwith leftwingpoliticsandin contactwiththe Russian
Futurist
In oppositionto Marinetti's
Futurists.
Paladini
whichadheredto Fascism,
movement,
in
foundedL'Immaginismo("Imaginism")
1927, launchinga newaestheticin whichthe
of the materialsusedin photomanipulation
montageplayeda leadingrole (Fig. 14).6 A
wasthe"photoofphoto-montage
further
variant
scene"(fotoscena)createdbyThayaht
(pseuandannounced
donymforErnestoMichaelles)
bya manifestoof thesamenamein themiddle
of the 1930s.Hismethodwasnotto articulate
the photographic
cuttingson a flatplane,but
to arrangethemlike the stageset of a small
of
theaterin an opticalbox.Thejuxtaposition
thefragments
createdtheillusionofperspective
variations,whiletinybeamsof coloredlights
fromhiddensourcestoproduce
wereprojected
kaleidoscopiceffects.
Photo-plastics(IIfotoplastico). TheFuturistswidelyuseddidacticpropaganda
panels
realizedin a photo-mosaictechnique,with
someof theimagesorganized
andconstructed
in relief.Thisapproachwas not new,having
been developedat the end of the nineteenth
beingthe
century,theearlieruseundoubtedly
use of extra-photosource for the Futurists'
graphicmaterialsandthecreationof "photoplastics."For the Futuriststhe termhad a
meaningwhich differedfrom thatused by
andotheravant-garde
photograMoholy-Nagy
Winter1981

363

GiovanniLista is an Italianwriterworking
in Paris.Hehaspublisheda seriesof
Fazioli,Stairs.
Photo-plastics,
Fig. 15 Ernesto
importantworkson Futuristartandtheory
1932.
and editedFuturistdocuments.Thisarticle
summarizessomeofthematerialto befound
in his Futurismo
e fotografia,
Milan1979.
of
A
the
Wanda
1920s.7
phers
self-portrait
by
Wultz(seeFig.6) anda composition
byRenato
FaziolientitledStairs(Fig. 15) aretwoof the Notes
most significantrealizationsof the Futurist Thisarticleis intended
to
as a briefintroduction
its
method.
In
Wultz's
the
of
Futurist
and
photography,theory
photo-plastic
self-portrait
subject
Fora fullerdiscussion
seeGiovanni
the imageof a femaleface appearscut out practitioners.
againsta blackground.Thefacewaspainted Lista,Futurismoe fotografia(Milan:Edizioni
aimand two Multhipla,
1979).
yellowwithan anti-naturalistic
of
the
1 See AntonGiulioBragaglia,
served
as
Fotodinamica
pieces greenglass
pupilsof
the eyes. The image thus createdpresents
Edizioni
1970).
Einaudi,
futurista(Turin:
ironic allusionsto the blondhairandto the
2 GuglielmoSansoni(whoworkedunderthe
Tato)wastheleadingprotagonist
expressiveforceof theeyes,givinga "plastic,"
pseudonym
ratherthanphotographic,
of
in thedecade
female
of
Futurist
research
synthesis
photographic
ofthe1930s.Seehisvolumeofmemoirs,
Tato
beauty.Bycontrast,thebasisof Fazioli'scomof a stairway
under
Edizioni
Oberdan
raccontato
da Tato(Milan:
positionwasa photograph
anarch.Ingeneralterms,theimagesuggestsa
Zucchi,1941).
closed spaceweightedwitha vaguesensation 3 SeeMarinetti,
LeFuturisme(Lausanne:
L'Age
of mysteryand claustrophobia.
Fazioliuses
1979).
d'Homme,
4 SeeGiovanni
(Paris:
Lista,
extra-photographic
signsto enhancetheseefLArtpostalfuturiste
fects.A "lettrista"
EditionsJean-Michel
Place,1978).
collage(collagecomposed
of letters)repeatsthe rhythmical
motifof the
ofcolored
exhibited
hiscollages
5 Matisse
papers
stairs:a silverthreadrunsalongthecomposiforthefirsttimeinJune1950.Assoonasthere
tionsuggesting
wroteto him in
thecontinuity
and"uniformity" was newsof them,Pirrone
of "hisinvention."
of the spaceclosedbetweenthestairsandthe
orderto claimpossession
anButhe wascertainly
archway.Finally,theframeof thecomposition
wrong,andMatisse
itself takesup the motifof the stairswithits
sweredhim refusingto arguethe point.In
sensacolored
wasmuchusedby
steppedmoldings.Theclaustrophobic
reality,
papercollage
tion is thus "solidified"(to borrowa term
forsketches
The
theaterdesigners
of costumes.
fromFuturist
is
to
that
structured
Futurists
were
the
techRussian
painting),
say,
using
already
andrenderedmaterially
Thiswas
of thestayin
perceptible.
niquein 1915.Ontheoccasion
Romeof Diaghilev's
BalletRusse,bothDepero
perhapsthe most originalmeansby which
Futuristphotography
modelsforsetsand
andPrampolini
executed
soughtto translatethe
vitalintensityof thematerial
worldbeyondits
in colored
costumes
LuigiPirrone
paper
collage.
naturalresemblancesto includeas well the
insteadtorealizegenuineandindiattempted
allhuman
of scrapsof coloredpaper
vidual"mosaics"
psychicreactionswhichaccompany
ratherthanfreelyinventive
perceptionof reality.
collages.
6 Foran evaluation
of thepoliticalfactionsof
seeMarinetti
et lefuturisme
ItalianFuturism,
364

ArtJournal

(Lausanne:
1977).Concernd'Homme,
L'Age
the
and
lifeof Paladini,
creative
ing political
seeGiovanni
Lista,VinicioPaladini,dalfuturismoall'immaginismo(Milan:Edizioni
1980).
Multhipla,
for
usedtheword"fotoplastico"
7 Moholy-Nagy
thefirsttimein hisbookMalerei
Photographie
Film(Monaco:
1925).Withthisterm
Langen,
in which
the artistindicated
a composition
were
structured
together
cut-upphotographs
with graphicelementsand linearrhythms.
Onethusobtains,according
to Moholy-Nagy,
a conciseorganization
of spacewhichmakes
the "photo-plastic"
betterthanthe chaotic
oftheDadaists.
photo-montage

Photographic Credits
TheSmithsonianInstitution,p. 306 (Figs.1
and 2); CineFotoRanfagni,Prato,p. 308;
Soichi Sunami, courtesy TheMuseumof
Moder Art, New York,p. 311 (Fig. 11);
Soichi Sunami, courtesy The Museumof
ModernArt,NewYork,p. 321 (Fig.11);Foto
Soprintendenzaalle GallerieRomaII, Galleria Nazionaled'ArteModerna,ArteContemporanea,Roma,p. 333 (Figs.8 and 10);
TheBritishLibrary,
p. 347 (Fig.8); Gr.Uff.
GiulioParisio,Napoli,p. 363 (Fig.13);Justin
AndrewSchaffer,p. 365 andp. 366 (Figs.2
and 4); SITES,
courtesyof theMetropolitan
Museumof Art,p. 366 (Fig.3); ThePace
Gallery,New York,p. 368; Dennis Brack,
Black Star, courtesyIBM,p. 371 (Fig.2);
MuseeRodin,p. 373 (Fig.3); LosAngeles
CountyMuseumofArt,pp. 377-379.

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