This book highlights sport as a key inspiration for an international range of modernist artists. With sport attracting large crowds, being written about in the press, filmed and broadcast, and with its top stars enjoying celebrity status, sport has claims to be the most pervasive cultural form of the early twentieth century. Modernist artists recognised sport’s importance in their writings and production. This book examines a diverse set of paintings, photographic works, films, buildings, and writings from artists in France, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union to establish the international appeal of the theme while acknowledging local and stylistic differences in its interpretation. From the fascination with the racing cyclist in paintings by Umberto Boccioni, Lyonel Feininger and Jean Metzinger, to the designs for stadiums in fascist Italy and the Soviet Union, the works examined are compelling both in visual and ideological terms. Encompassing studies of many avant-garde movements, including Italian futurism, cubism, German expressionism, Le Corbusier’s architecture, Soviet constructivism, Italian rationalism and the Bauhaus, this book interrogates the ways in which sport and modernism interconnect.
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
concern for profitability and universality. Innovation, however, is not the
same as architecture. One might point out that certain generations of architectural
modernism fall into the same trap of mechanistic and homogenised mass solutions, yet
this is certainly not the central thrust of architectural training, which offers
something very different to replicable product design. Architects are meant to
design for a particular client, paying detailed attention to the specifics of a site
modernism. Computers would, it was argued, allow the design capabilities and expertise of
professionals to be transferred to the popular masses ( Turner, 2006 ).
In the mid 1970s, the architect Nicholas Negroponte 11 sought to eliminate professional privilege by facilitating public
participation and ownership of the architectural design process through computer programming.
The intention was to create ‘soft architectural machines’ that could translate
human imperfections, anxieties and emotions into the rich architectural designs of a ‘new
This is the first interdisciplinary exploration of machine culture in Italian
futurism after the First World War. The machine was a primary concern for the
futuristi. As well as being a material tool in the factory it was a social and
political agent, an aesthetic emblem, a metonymy of modernity and international
circulation and a living symbol of past crafts and technologies. Exploring
literature, the visual and performing arts, photography, music and film, the
book uses the lens of European machine culture to elucidate the work of a broad
set of artists and practitioners, including Censi, Depero, Marinetti, Munari and
Prampolini. The machine emerges here as an archaeology of technology in
modernity: the time machine of futurism.
Regarding the real: cinema, documentary, and the visual arts develops an approach to the study of documentary film focussing on its aesthetic and cultural relations to the modern visual arts, especially: animation, assemblage, photography, painting, and architecture. In particular, it examines how documentary practices have often incorporated methods and expressive techniques derived from these art forms. Combining close analysis with cultural history, the book re-assesses the influence of the modern visual arts in subverting the structures of realism typically associated with documentary film, and considers the work of figures whose preferred film language is associative, and fragmentary, and for whom the documentary remains an open form, an unstable expressive phenomenon that at its best interrogates its own narratives, and intentions. In the course of its discussion, the book charts a path that leads from Len Lye to Hiroshi Teshigahara, and includes along the way figures such as Joseph Cornell, Johan van der Keuken, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, Jonas Mekas, Raymond Depardon.
and continuous shift
of external and internal stimuli’ noted by Simmel in his 1903 essay ‘The
Metropolis and Mental Life’.5 Whereas Nordau finds the fragmentation
Cf. Malcolm Bradbury and James McFarlane, Modernism: A Guide to European
Literature, 1880–1930 (Sussex: Harvester, 1978), 47; Douwe Fokkema and Elrud Ibsch,
Modernist Conjectures: A Mainstream in European Literature, 1910–1940 (London: C.
Hurst & Company, 1987), 43.
Max Nordau, Degeneration (1892) (New York: H. Fertig, 1968 [1895, 1892]), 536;
cited in Richard Lehan, The City in Literature: An
England and France, and has different but related manifestations in other countries. Towards the latter half of the nineteenth century a new aesthetic, predominantly European in its earlier incarnations, reacts against Realism and produces what is now collectively termed ‘modernism’. What next?
Inevitably, perhaps, modernism in turn becomes superseded. Again, it depends from which country you view these events, but in general it is thought that modernism is ‘exhausted’ by the 1930s, and that decade sees the ‘high modernism’ of works like Finnegans Wake (1939) as a
of architecture between
1880 and 1914. The School also transformed the shape of the house and
can rightly be thought of as an important ingredient in the rise of
international modernism in Europe. 40 Thus in 1893, the organisers of the Columbian
had a great deal of acclaimed expertise to tap for the construction of
their site. Daniel Burnham, a leading light in the Chicago school, was
Database, the Foxe Project or the ODNB. There is a
concern that the normal critical faculties of academics have been
suspended when faced with glossy and well-organized databases of
this kind: it is as well to remember that a database of any kind is
only as good as the source materials upon which it draws, and the
organization and accessibility of the data.
New -isms became prominent from the 1950s onwards: modernism,
postmodernism, deconstructionism, feminism and receptionism
being five of the most important for our subject. The modernist trend
emerged in the
evolving genre in ‘The City of Russian Modernist Fiction’, in Malcolm Bradbury and
James McFarlane (eds), Modernism: A Guide to European Literature, 1880–1930 (Sussex:
Harvester, 1978), 467–80. Cf. David Weimer, The City as Metaphor (New York: Random
House, 1966); Jean-Yves Tadié, Le roman au XXe siècle (Paris: Belfond, 1990), especially
Chapter IV, ‘Roman de la ville, ville du roman’; Anne-Marie Quint (ed.), La Ville dans
l’histoire et dans l’imaginaire (Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 1996); David
Trotter, Paranoid Modernism (New York/London: Oxford University