Italian Futurism quote about murderous art gangs?
March 6, 2015 6:55 PM   Subscribe

A strange and learned young comedian once told me about a famous Futurist artist who professed that the best way to die was to be be killed by rival artists in the streets of a hyper-competitive future, or some such. He was most certainly paraphrasing. Anyone have a clue who he was talking about and what was actually said?

A good-old long shot, but askmefi is about (or exactly) 6 for 7 on this kind of question for me, so I'm full of faith and rubbing the lamp.
posted by es_de_bah to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Probably the most famous instance of this is Marinetti's prophecy for himself and his colleagues in Futurism, outlined in "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" -- once their style has conquered the world, and fervent disciples have destroyed the museums and libraries at their behest:

"They will come against us, our successors, will come from far away, from every quarter, dancing to the winged cadence of their first songs, flexing the hooked claws of predators, sniffing doglike at the academy doors the strong odor of our decaying minds, which will have already been promised to the literary catacombs.

"But we won’t be there ... At last they’ll find us -- one winter’s night -- in open country, beneath a sad roof drummed by a monotonous rain. They’ll see us crouched beside our trembling aeroplanes in the act of warming our hands at the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when they take fire from the flight of our images.

"They’ll storm around us, panting with scorn and anguish, and all of them, exasperated by our proud daring, will hurtle to kill us, driven by a hatred the more implacable the more their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us."

Which is pretty thrilling, as prophecies go! It also exemplifies the general Futurist love of violence, rivalry and hyper-competition, just as you say ... the silent film devoted to "a day in the life of a Futurist" (of which only a few fragments remain) reportedly included morning exercise of boxing, fencing, and reckless driving.
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure at 7:18 PM on March 6, 2015 [10 favorites]

7 for 8!
posted by es_de_bah at 8:19 PM on March 6, 2015

and while I'm eternally grateful to you, I must admit that this is what that kind of apocalypse looks like to me. Many cheers!
posted by es_de_bah at 8:46 PM on March 6, 2015

There's also Andre Breton's "The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd."
posted by Sebmojo at 11:48 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

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