Archive | The Manifestos RSS feed for this section

Marinetti’s Mess

17 Dec

Trying to pry Futurism from Fascism is not easily accomplished, but Richard Jensen gives it a try in his article Futurism and Fascism where he looks at the intimate relationship that Marinetti had with both.  Although Marinetti was the heart of Futurism, Jensen explores how he was intrinsic to the rise of Fascism’s growth.  He recognizes how Mussolini and Marinetti were involved in the creation of the Fascist movement, but that Marinetti’s disgust towards actions of the Fascist movement caused him to distance himself.  But when Jensen begins to separate Fascism from Marinetti’s Futurist movement based on the level of violence, I believe that Jensen forgot that the 2nd theme of the Futurist programme was “championing of violence and conflict”.



The Work of Art and the Problem of Politics in Berlin Dada

11 Dec

George Grosz and John Heartfield wrote the “Art Scoundrel” in a Berlin Journal called “the Opponent” basically stating the politics of how someone would want to save a painting more than a person.

The article written, began making me think of the degenerate art show in which many people from around the world came to the auction to “protect the artwork”. The Nazi’s at this time had labeled the artwork as less than art and not hardly representational. They preferred artwork that represented the third Reich the best and sold off the ones they deemed less than worthy for their shows. In many instances, people were willing to go much higher than they had originally paid for the pieces.

When thinking of this, it began making me think that those people knew that the Nazi’s were going to be using it for other purposes other than what they said. However, if these people knew what exactly their money was going towards, would they still have bought them? They were told in the beginning what it was for, even though they knew it wouldn’t be for those purposes, but they chose to go to the auction anyways. While many famous works were indeed saved was it worth knowing that these people using their money to benefit the Nazis?

Frankly, it all comes around and the Dadaists seemed to bring up a moral implication saying, “Is it really worth it?” The Expressionists said yes, the Dadaists and Modernists say no. However, from an artist’s stand point we are taught to put our work above ourselves. The work is an extension of the artist and represents everything we are; it is our portfolio for a commission or a job and is saying, this is who I am. The Expressionists may have been thinking, if you lose the piece you lose the person behind the work. When thinking this way, I could see the how the Expressionists feel, but their motives are entirely selfish in that stance. They are taking something and projecting their own feelings into a piece and making it into essentially a person.

It truly brings up a moral dilemma in how we perceive things and whether or not that object is considered valuable to us by whether or not we can project ourselves into that piece or a certain association with an emotion. The pieces are just oil on canvas, but people tend to over extend their emotions when they feel inspiration or attachment to it.

L. Engle


13 Nov




The Manifestos: Bewildering

13 Nov

A few questions arised as I read Salvador Dali’s The Conquest of the Irrational and André Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism.

In Dali’s Conquest, the section ‘the waters we swim in‘ concludes that Dali detest all forms of simplicity in art. In the section ‘my fortifications‘ he expands that statement by calling all non-surreal art a regressive process. Surrealism pertains to concrete irrationality and stands as a far more authentic and true process. Under ‘the abjection and misery of abstraction-creation‘ Dali calls abstract art mentally deficient in comparison to the depth of surrealistic work, arguing the one sideness of Gestalt theory is simply a regurgitation of preconceived ideals.

If Mark Rothko can begin his career as a surrealist and evolve into an abstract style, is this considered a lapse by Dali’s standards? Was surrealism the end of artistic evolution to Dali? Could surrealism ever surpass itself?




In Manifesto of Surrealism André Breton defines surrealism as the following: a psychicautomatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

Art movements are a reaction and reflection of the times they transpire. I do have to wonder if the movement of Surrealism would have existed with out Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic research and published works such as “The Interpretation of Dreams.”