POST ZANG TUMB TUUUM

ART LIFE POLITICS: ITALY 1918-1943

2018-05-08

'Discarding all those stupid definitions and all those confused verbalisms of the professors, I would say that lyricism is the rarest faculty to inebriate life and intoxicate it of ourselves. The ability to change the murky water of life that surrounds us and crosses us in wine. The faculty of coloring the world with the very special colors of our changing self ...

'F. T. Marinetti wrote in 1914 Zang Tumb Tumm, a sort of futurist book in which for the first time in typography are mixed multiple expressive and textual ideas. The reader is continually displaced by changes of character, oblique writing, circular, increased volumes. It is futurism, a reality where everything changes quickly. Just like the years so well represented by this exhibition at the Prada Foundation. A path full of chronologically ordered works, accompanied by historical descriptions and very evocative vintage videos.

These are years characterized by such a great energy, aspirations of greatness and desire to do amazing things. Great architectural projects were developed such as the Foro Mussolini, later called Foro Italico, and other civil engineering works. It was the epoch of the full development of aviation, of mechanics, of technique in general. The man thought he was omnipotent, Mussolini thought he was omnipotent! Aspirations to greatness ... yet De Chirico sees the disappearance of the human, his spaces are empty, arid, inhabited by shadows or by shells of man, by mannequins. Thus, the great civil works will be majestic, like the Eur, but ideal because that era was pervaded by idealism, by rationalism.

The exhibition at the Fondazione Prada makes us understand that Fascism was not an oppressive period for art and architecture, we should also think about Lucio Fontana. There were positive yearnings at that time, like love for the country, the desire to make big things. On the other hand, however, the unpardonable errors and that history has not forgotten: the racial laws, wars of conquest in Africa, the unfortunate pact with Hitler. We often talk about fascism without knowing it and it would be nice to read some books by Renzo de Felice to understand more, but this exhibition certainly helps to see the lights and shadows. The Prada Foundation has done an impressive research work, 600 works, 800 documents, over 100 authors. It really is not to be missed !!!

(Maximiliano Cattaneo)

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