Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism

Princeton University Press
2008

Co-Winner of the 2010 Howard R. Marraro Prize, Modern Language Association

"In Inventing Futurism, art historian Christine Poggi describes how the Futurist movement's raw passion for technology was moulded by the atmosphere of political foreboding of the times. . . . The visions and concerns of the Futurists, Poggi tells us in this . . . always illuminating study, emerged out of the uncertainty and confusion produced by modernity."--Ziauddin Sardar, Nature


"[T]he book's important contribution to the field [is] most notably its close readings of particular works. The prodigious application of primary documents (many of them previously unpublished or unaddressed in any detail) to illuminate specific images and objects, is sustained throughout with impressive pertinence. . . . Poggi's account is a new way of considering works that have become, in spite of their author's most earnest intentions, old. . . . Inventing Futurism makes an intelligent case for taking seriously that optimistic alchemy, one that consistently wrought the vacillations of ambivalence into an aesthetics of decision." --Ara H. Merjian, European Legacy

"Poggi's analyses of some of Boccioni's and Balla's works . . . have been developed here to a level of great sophistication and can be thoroughly recommended. I also found some of her observations on works by the lesser-known Fillìa quite pertinent." --Gunter Berghaus, Modern Language Review

"Christine Poggi's Inventing Futurism cuts a sharp cross-disciplinary swath through the founding avant-garde of the twentieth century. With meticulous scholarship, interpretive depth, and attention to nuance, it brilliantly upends the once-standard clichés regarding a Futurism reducible to the acritical worship of modernity." --Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Stanford University