Throughout Gianluca Rizzo’s lecture last week, I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities between futurism and surrealism. There is no doubt that futurism spawned the surrealism movement — both movements reject realistic representations of the world, reimagining what is normal, what is nature, and what it means to be human.The leader of the movement, Marinetti insists that, “no work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece.”Revolting, struggling, and fighting against traditional art forms, Futurism celebrates hardship, whether in the war scenes that influence much of the art of the movement or in the aggressive character that the artists uphold.
Surrealism reimagines the world as well, but not through the depiction of hardship, but by unlocking the imagination and playing upon the human psyche. Some futuristic art and surrealistic art look fairly similar, challenging classic art techniques and representations of the human form and the natural world. However, surrealism’s whimsical take on the purpose of art arguably clashes with the goals of futurism. For this juxtaposition between unlocking the imagination and demonstrating the prowess of modern technology, I think that futurists would look down upon surrealism because of its lack of political purpose.