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A dynamic World

Futurist dynamism, or rather the analysis of movement, the simultaneity of gesture, but not only. Speaking of Futurism, dynamism is also associated with the idolatry of  car. Marinetti, in fact, exclaimed that «a car thrown (lanciato) in the race is more ‘beautiful (bello)‘ than the Victory of Samothrace», where, as you can see, the car was considered of masculine gender, as it was believed that ‘the daring and the thrill of  speed ‘were completely ”vigorous” matters, therefore for men only.

It is a theme, speed above all, but also simultaneity (related to it) very  fascinating for Baldessari who applied intensely and studied dynamism and simultaneous vision at multiple latitudes, that is not so much and not only the obvious ones, as is the case of the speed of a car, a train or a bicycle, but also in unthinkable situations, such as in the work, with the “movement” of the knife grinder, or going to invent the dynamism of the “olive harvest”, precisely generated by the shaking of the branches of the olive tree, or, again, he turned to the dynamism of the scenic action at the circus or in the swirl of a dance. But the aspect of dynamism contemplated here is precisely that related to the ‘machine’, as a mechanical object, an object made of gears and, in the case in point, ‘noisy’. And this is perhaps the discriminating factor in order to understand why Baldessari dedicated very few works to cars and motorbikes, and instead so many to trams and trains.

One may think that Baldessari fully shared the theories Luigi Russolo had expressed in his manifesto L’arte dei rumori (The art of noises), of 1913, where he stated that the soundtrack of the future could only be that of a mechanical civilization, where even «the evolution of music is parallel to the multiplication of machines». And again in the same year, Carlo Carrà had signed the manifesto La pittura dei suoni, rumori,odori (The painting of sounds, noises and smells), in which he gave innumerable operating instructions on how to deal with the ‘new civilization of machines’ by art.

For all this, Baldessari felt more attracted by the train (which he often used among other things) also because it combined the mechanical aspect with a decidedly more ‘mechanical’ noise than the one of the first cars and motorcycles.

With the early twenties, and with the development in Italy of an aeronautical industry (one of the pioneers of flight, Gianni Caproni, had studied in Rovereto, with Depero …) for which Italy became soon one of the world powers, Futurism, and Baldessari himself, could not remain immune to this new fascination: the aerial speed. So Baldessari left trains, cars and motorbikes behind and discovered to be also an aero-painter.

Futurist dynamism, or rather the analysis of movement, the simultaneity of gesture, but not only. Speaking of Futurism, dynamism is also associated with the idolatry of  car. Marinetti, in fact, exclaimed that «a car thrown (lanciato) in the race is more ‘beautiful (bello)‘ than the Victory of Samothrace», where, as you can see, the car was considered of masculine gender, as it was believed that ‘the daring and the thrill of  speed ‘were completely ”vigorous” matters, therefore for men only.

It is a theme, speed above all, but also simultaneity (related to it) very  fascinating for Baldessari who applied intensely and studied dynamism and simultaneous vision at multiple latitudes, that is not so much and not only the obvious ones, as is the case of the speed of a car, a train or a bicycle, but also in unthinkable situations, such as in the work, with the “movement” of the knife grinder, or going to invent the dynamism of the “olive harvest”, precisely generated by the shaking of the branches of the olive tree, or, again, he turned to the dynamism of the scenic action at the circus or in the swirl of a dance. But the aspect of dynamism contemplated here is precisely that related to the ‘machine’, as a mechanical object, an object made of gears and, in the case in point, ‘noisy’. And this is perhaps the discriminating factor in order to understand why Baldessari dedicated very few works to cars and motorbikes, and instead so many to trams and trains.

One may think that Baldessari fully shared the theories Luigi Russolo had expressed in his manifesto L’arte dei rumori (The art of noises), of 1913, where he stated that the soundtrack of the future could only be that of a mechanical civilization, where even «the evolution of music is parallel to the multiplication of machines». And again in the same year, Carlo Carrà had signed the manifesto La pittura dei suoni, rumori,odori (The painting of sounds, noises and smells), in which he gave innumerable operating instructions on how to deal with the ‘new civilization of machines’ by art.

For all this, Baldessari felt more attracted by the train (which he often used among other things) also because it combined the mechanical aspect with a decidedly more ‘mechanical’ noise than the one of the first cars and motorcycles.

With the early twenties, and with the development in Italy of an aeronautical industry (one of the pioneers of flight, Gianni Caproni, had studied in Rovereto, with Depero …) for which Italy became soon one of the world powers, Futurism, and Baldessari himself, could not remain immune to this new fascination: the aerial speed. So Baldessari left trains, cars and motorbikes behind and discovered to be also an aero-painter.

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