Luca Buvoli pays homage to Futurism

Luca Buvoli

Inner and Outer Space [group exhibition]
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
[April 26, 2008 – January 11, 2009]

Text below from the Mattress Factory Blog:

Based on the car crash that inspired Marinetti’s revelation of the Futurist Manifesto in 1909, Luca Buvoli has created a sculptural work that depicts the 1908 Fiat in motion, the instant before the impact. Marinetti’s famous “crash” has been the subject of various critical interpretations (some even questioning the accidental nature of the event, apparently all set up in a theatrical way). This project gave Buvoli the opportunity to explode myths of masculinity and velocity associated with Futurism. While utilizing a futuristic form for the piece, Buvoli is, at the same time, pointing out his ambivalence about the cult of heroism that has grown out of this and associated art/historical event(s).

The sculpture is depicted in futuristic form; there is dynamism created by the multiple views of the same vehicle, as if captured frozen in time and motion, moving along a trajectory. This is the moment when physical, aesthetic and ideological barriers were broken. The car is breaking the speed limit of what it can maintain to hold the road. The red steel and the automobile form refer to Pittsburgh’s industrial past and pre-eminence in this material’s fabrication (around the same years of Futurism’s foundation) while the fiberglass has a more organic quality. It is translucent almost like green algae, giving the car a more “natural” skin.

The car and its occupant, the artist (not represented here), have broken free of gravity and catapulted into the unknown. The sculpture is freed from the floor and takes flight off the floor and out the gallery window. Buvoli also sees associations between the form of the work—the multiple cars—one following another and the fascination humans have with charismatic leaders. The cars follow the lead car out the window, like a flock of sheep or the blind followers of a totalitarian regime.

Buvoli, who works in a variety of media, created a single-channel video for this exhibition. Ave Machina: Instant Before Incident uses what he calls a “meta-futuristic approach.” The video is an intricately edited collage of images. Using visual tricks taken from early experimental film syntax, Buvoli intercuts straight photography, superimposed hand-drawn animation, archival footage and interviews with the art historian Christine Poggi and cultural historian Jeffrey Schnapp as they discuss Futurism’s birth in relation to the desire for exhilaration, speed and projection both physical and psychological.

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