Milan to look to its past with Futurism festival

Fri Dec 5, 2008 10:09am EST
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MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Milan will celebrate one of Italy's most distinctive cultural achievements, the avant garde movement Futurism, in a centennial festival throughout 2009, the city said.

The iconoclastic movement, often seen as a forerunner of Fascism, will be celebrated in its northern Italian birthplace with events that include exhibitions, concerts, dance and video shows and conferences.

The Futurism celebration "arises from an unfettered imagination where our action is turned into emotion," Milan's cultural councilor, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, said in a statement on Thursday.

The festival will be launched on February 20, the 100th anniversary of the publication of Milanese writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's "Manifesto of Futurism" in Paris newspaper Le Figaro.

Marinetti and his followers, like artists Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Rossolo and Carlo Carra, violently rejected the cult of the past in early 20th century Europe.

They admired science, youth, violence and modern technology and reveled in action. The movement aimed to enable viewers to see the inner being of what they were depicting.

In one of the movement's most famous works, Boccioni's 1913 sculpture "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space," he attempted to show the relationship between the figure and its environment.

The Futurists practiced in every area of art, from architecture and painting to industrial design. The Milan festival will run through the end of next year.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson, editing by Paul Casciato)