Tamar Paichadze                                                                                                                                                                         # 9 

Revolution of Psyche or Futurist Art


            Keywords: Inter-Cultural Communications; Culturology; Modernism; Art; Literary Heritage.


 “Throw the classics at the ship of contemporaneity”- with such eccentric-epatage appeals futurists appeared on proscenium of avant-garde art, “word about innovation”, “complicated, liberated words” became the measure for demonstration of futuristic ideology.

The first stage of avant-garde modulation, revolution of psyche in literature, overturn in canons of “modernism” – that’s how futuristic vision is evaluated in inter-cultural space. The echo of demonstration of futuristic novelties, since early 900-ies, followed the new epoch, known as “industrial century”, during decades; futurists justified their coming to art just by its coming, as the challenge of new time was considered as searching for new faces and new forms of expression.

As other ultra-modernistic expressions futurism must be considered as protest or attempting protest which represented not only antagonistic contradistinction of everything classical and regulated, but it was represented as antithesis of  ethnic-esthetic norms of public moral and ideals.

. Futurist philosophy experiences special creative cultivation in Italy, through its long history (until 50-s) Italian reformers of  futurism Fillippo Marinetti, Umberto Bachoni, Jakomo Balla, Jino Severini and Karlo Karra published about 100  manifests. Performances of Rome, Milan, Turin, Venice, Padui and Naples deserved common European resonance and the antithesis of creative aestheticism, philosophical analytics, symbolist mystics, classic-realist discourse, aggressive masterpieces of “new apostle” suppressed the existing modernist-symbolist pantheism by triumphal fanfares of anti-culturist theories, cynic laughter,   inertial thinking, mechanic-synthetic art, visional cinematographism. In addition to avant-gardist “remake”, Italian futurist movement also had unique political-propagandistic direction, which made the probability of creative identity with the rest of the World unimaginable reality.

Italian futurism was different from all its analogues, according formal-methodic understanding –didactic, according artistic essence – mannered-extravagant. Its ideological leader was Fillipo Tomazo Marinetti – literary, interpreter, actor, left-wing – undoubtedly, talented and interesting person. As he admitted that he went on this way because of  “indignation caused by human’s personal solitude, estrangement, in technical auto-jungles”, furthermore, Marinetti was attracted by “the factor of person dispersed in techno-urban   epoch”, coming out of this it was his “reactive optimism, (nationalism of the warrior)”, what expressed in supporting social-political evolution. 

In Italy futurism was compared with another renaissance, its coming in art was discussed as the beginning of a new level, the first futuristic manifest (about 85 manifests are published) was published in “Figaro”, either Italian or French electorate were charmed by futurists’ eloquent appeal, which was soon followed by tribunal actions in Milan, Turin, Venice, Naples and Padua; especially inhabitants of economically more powerful side of the north were charmed by extravagant, left-wing vanguards’ new generation: “it seems like everything got its own name first time, eastern psychology melted and opened for new reality”. The fans of futurists expressed their emotions and attitude in this manner. What was this? Pose? Manner? Popularity in intelligence or expression of “narrow-minded” psychology? Futurists tried to answer these questions mainly in  manifests.

Futuristic ideal is lead to two equal hypostases. One is a human – robot, made for masses, and the second standard made by futurists themselves – special person, which obeys the cult of power, mechanical elements are seen very well in its own world, “its artistic expression is Fillippo Marinetti’s character, “poetized ideal”, “superman” governor from the east, “futurist mafarka”, - in which opponents of futurism recognized Nitshe, Zaratustra’s slangy, abject, trivial version, which did not have similar melancholic reflexions and literature finness.

            Futuristic agiotage spread through Europe and  America like epidemic, but its eastern part “fall sick” with the most “serious form”; Russia assimilated futuristic philosophy so much that equaled to its firstprimary source but duration and range of spreading. There was only principal difference: in Russia it was primarily art and ideology of art – parlor-chamber, revolutionary-dynamic, personified, internally liberal-democratic at some extent and rebellious only in the framework of art, thus estranging from “aggressive-terrorist” psychology of Italian futurism from the very beginning.

            The first manifest published in “Figaro” was translated in few days and printed in the newspaper “Vecher” published in Peterburg. In Russia it was called bier-futurism, because it represented much more the synthesis of these two directions than orthodox representation of futurism; it was expression of scandalous ideology of revolution supporter, including several groups:  

1.“Gilea” (Kruchinikh, Maiakovski, brothers Berlukes, Khlebnikov, Kamenski. Collection “Sadok Sudei”, “Poshcheshchina Obshchestvennomu Bkusu”, “Dokhlaia Luna”,  “Vzgliad”).

2. “Union Of Youth” (Moscow).

3. “Oslinii Khvost” (Peterburg).

            Among innovations brought by these groups we must mention changing the traditions in literature texts, new vocabulary, word-creativness, so called Zaumic vocabulary, fonemic essence, orchestrism, visualism. As a representative of Russian futurism Vladimer Maiakovski is considered, in whose creative works futuristic psychology found special reflection, that was expressed in recognition and appreciation of revolutionary world.  Futurism in Russia was fashion motion. Representatives of other directions called themselves futurists, too. (For example: post-impressionists, primitivists and phobists and representatives of “new formal groups”).  

The charm of futurist aesthetics revealed in Georgian art as well; the series of futuristic “white nights” followed the well-known intellectual migration of the year 1918, when Russian futurists escaped from revolution and chose Tbilisi as creative base.

            After 26 May of 1918 Tbilisi changed, announcement of political independence of Georgia did not only mean the existence of administrative centre;   it was again becoming a Mecca of culture, Russian writers and painters escaped red revolution appeared in Tbilisi. Mentioned political factors conditioned inculcation of literature left-wing – the form of unknown “method of writing”- for Georgian artistic reality.  The essence of Russian futurists’ artistic expression represented impersonation of European analogues, which first of all were demarche against war, violence, physical aggression.; if  Dadaists from Zurich and New-York escaped the world war I, Russian artists saw incompatible environment for artists in Bolshevist revolution and their pacifistic position was quintessence of protest and uprising expressed in epatage-exaggerated forms.

Famous creative left-wings visited Tbilisi in that period of time (from 1918): Aleksei kruchinski, igor Terentiev, brothers Ilia and Kirile Zdaneviches, Vasil Kamenski, Sergei Sudeikin and Zigmund Valishevski. In cafes of Tbilisi: “Paris”, “Fantastikuri Kavakhana”, “International”, “Dzmuri Nugeshi”, “Argonavtta Ialkani” and “Qimerioni” they arranged evenings. Inhabitants of Tbilisi liked young artists thinking in free and not ordinary style. Kuchonikh and Kamenski published magazines: “Zaumnikebis Kompania 410”, “Futuristebis Sindikati” and “Futurvseubezhishche”, in Tbilisi. Furthermore, it is known fact, that they became close friends with Georgian symbolists.

In Tbilisi Aleksei Kruchinski and Vasil Kamenski’s satiric cycles, Zdaneviche’s city sketches  were created. Even nowadays there are Kruchinski, Terentiev, Kamenski and Sudeikin’s sketches and autographs in personal collections of inhabitants of Tbilisi. These artists’ tours in Tbilisi became one of the conditioning factors for inculcation of maximalistic vanguard in Georgia. Non of the abovementioned literature meetings  were arranged without supporting and participating of Georgian artists.  They became friends with Georgian symbolists. Influence process was not late and radical vanguard found background in Georgia very soon.

            And the presentation of Georgian futurism began since the night of April in 1922’ this “great date” was announced as the beginning of “new era”.

           Thus, for Georgian creative reality known form of  “the method of writing” was expressed in futuristic searching. Vanguard maximalism was shared first by future futurists and first Georgian Dadaistic designs appeared soon, it must be said here, that Georgian Dada was much more liberal – it did not have any signs of political protest and the main thing was that classical scheme futurism-Dada in Georgia was expressed in contrary form: Georgian modernists first tried Dadaist radicalism, which then grew into futuristic motion. Besides  Russian artistic emigration did not continue long, it left an interesting history and “heritable direction” in Georgia. “Tours” in Tbilisi of these artists of this group  became one of the conditioning factors for inculcation of left-wing  vanguard in Georgia.

Georgian futurism was compared with earthquake by its makers and besides appearing artifacts in different directions, in contradistinction with European analogues, futurism in Georgia was literature event, furthermore, not very orthodox. Principle of  constructivism, Dadaism and futurism were united under one name – they were not especially original in artistic methodology and did not go far from Russian futurism.   

            Instead, Georgian futurists similar to their European people holding the same view contradicted symbolism, especially they considered unacceptable that theory, which inculcated symbolist ideology.  But in Georgian creative environment, it is obvious, that this contradistinction was about Archil Jokhadze and his artistic work, wonderful theory of deception. On another side, futuristic action developed in another direction: mixture of industry and primitivism, polemics about development of art (mainly literature and cinema), contradistinction with aristocratic ideology, so called “revolution of psychics and black poetry”, style, rhythm, violation of punctuation.

Futuristic passions endured in Georgia for three-four years, however in the period of “formal development” it became maximalistic, with its radical expression forms it originally overcame Russian futurism, it must be thought that Dadaism participated in this process and we must think about correction of blunder in history of Georgian literature group. Perhaps Georgian futurism was not classical form of Russian-Italian analogue, with theoretic-formal expression it was the mixture of Dadaism, constructivism and futurism and the most radical part of Georgian futuristic thinking expressed Dadaistic direction.

            Futurism didn’t remain in Georgian literature as only historic or imitative event; its literary mentality and genetic origin became more understandable after its ending, because it left the trace of rhythmic-musical perfection, artistic-formal systematization not only in the literary heritage of its followers specifically, but also reflected in the literary life of the subsequent period in general.      



Volume 4, Issue 1


Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Georgian Electronic Journal of Literature