Art History Assignment

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  • Topic: Henri Bergson, Time, Futurism
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  • Published : April 27, 2012
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Mark Antliff, “The Fourth Dimension and Futurism: A Politicized Space,” The Art Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 4 (Dec. 2000), pp. 720-733.

1. What does Antliff explore, with respect to the Futurists' incorporation of aesthetic theories of time and space? Whose notions of temporality and intuitive consciousness does the author analyze? (p. 720)

Antliff explores the futurists’ incorporations of aesthetic theories of time and space into a utopian campaign to transform the consciousness of the Italian citizenry and inaugurate a political revolt against Italy’s democratic institutions. The author analyzes the notions of temporality and intuitive consciousness of Linda Henderson, which are derived from Henri Bergson.

2. According to Antliff, in contrast to other proponents of the fourth dimension, how did Boccioni assimilate spatial concepts into the Futurists' highly politicized campaign to renew Italy? What was the artist’s political program premised on and to what end? (pp. 720-721)

According to Antliff, in contrast to the proponents of the fourth dimension, Boccioni assimilated spatial concepts into the Futurists’ high politicized campaign to renew Italy. The futurist correlation of the fourth dimension with a Bergsonian spatial-temporal flux made up of “force forms” and “force lines”, unfettered by the limitations of three-dimensional space or measured intuition and an anti- materialistic call for national regeneration and imperialist expansion. The artist’s political program was premised on the politics of Italian nationalism.

3. According to Antliff, whose notion of aestheticized politics does Futurist imagery thoroughly contradicts? Instead, what must any proper reading of their art take into account? (p. 721)

Futurist imagery thoroughly contradicts Walter Benjamin’s notion of aestheticized politics. Any proper reading of their art must take into account the anti- materialistic premises undergirding that disavowal, premises that Zeev Sternhell and Emilio Gentile have identified as fundamental to Italian proto-Fascism.

4. In Boccioni’s Plastic Dynamism, how do the Futurists experience intuition? To what end? (p. 721)

In Boccioni’s Plastic Dynamism, the Futurists experience intuition by rejecting an art of “external appearances”, they are “living life in its dynamic conception”, and they enter an object’s “interior” and experience its living dynamism by intuition. Only through intuition are the Futurists able to experience the “violent emotions of movement and speed” that “inspire new plastic ideas.”

5. Why did Boccioni claim Cubist and academic methods were
indistinguishable? What was the effect of Picasso's "study of form"? (p. 721)

Boccioni claimed that Cubist and academic methods were indistinguishable because of their shared reliance on “intellectual” and “scientific” techniques that left the artist (and beholder) external to the object itself. The effect of Picasso’s “study of form” was that the analysis of the object was always at the expense of the object.

6. On what basis does Antliff suggest virtually every aspect of Boccioni's critique had its roots in Bergson's metaphysics? (p. 722)

Antliff suggests virtually that every aspect of Boccioni’s critique had its roots in Bergson’s metaphysics on the basis that Bergson identifies relative knowledge with all forms of “analysis” utilized in “positive science”; absolute knowledge, “can only be given in an intuition” because intuition is the “sympathy by which one is transported into the interior of an object in order to coincide with what there is unique” about it. To Boccioni, the Futurist intuition of an object’s interior dynamism then is a form of “absolute” knowledge, whereas the analytic methods developed by other movements relegated them to “relative” knowledge.

7. What does Bergson claim in Creative Evolution with regard to the artist’s ability to potentially possess intuitive vision? (p. 722)

In Creative Evolution, Bergson...
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