Marinetti on The Futurist Synthetic and the Variety Theatre (1915 & 1913)
Wow, reading about the Variety Theatre is pretty incredible. I feel like it is a total summation of everything I do whether in “real life”, performance, video work, or even as illustrated in my paintings. I do describe myself as a clown, not a traditional funny red nose clown per se, but a character of the circus realm. I mean this to say I do not take life too seriously and use humor to approach otherwise serious topics (usually social issues). Marinetti et al describes it as a, “photographic reproduction of our daily life”. I would definitely say much art, whether in variety theatre or not, would fit that definition. It brings me back to a performance last year. Spencer and I dressed in all white to replicate the bathroom signs found outside each bathroom door. We stood in front of painted red boards as the background. Once we took our spots, we then turned the lifeless signs into creepy omnipresent lifeforms watching passerby’s enter the bathroom. Much to their dissatisfaction, we were still there as they exited. I will include a photo of this performance below. The more and more I read this, the more performances that come to mind that could fit this article…
“We futurists are young Artillerymen on a toot” and as futurists, they definitely still have a presence in the current “future” that they so felt they were a part of. With flash mobs as a modern example of this style of performance, they have definitely lain their impressions in the absurdity and the un-ordinary.
More than anything I appreciate their humor and their ability to transcend the majority in the name of what is silly and what is entertaining, on the stage and in their writing. Embrace the improvisation!