Arnon Grunberg



And now something about the Futurists. Again a quote from “Artificial Hells – participatory art and the politics of spectatorship” by Claire Bishop:

“As a lower-class form of popular entertainment, variety theatre provided ample opportunities for heckling and improvisation on both sides. In its Futurist iteration, this participation became directly antagonistic, with performers and audience making direct attacks on one another, frequently culminating in riot. Some of the techniques suggested to provoke conflict can be found in the variety theatre manifesto: spreading ‘a powerful glue on some of the seats, so that the male or female spectator will stay glued down and make everyone laugh’, selling ‘the same ticket to ten people: traffic jam, bickering and wrangling’, offering ‘free tickets to gentlemen or ladies who are notoriously unbalanced, irritable or eccentric and likely to provoke uproars with obscene gestures, pinching women, or other freakishness’, and sprinkling ‘the seats with dust to make people itch or sneeze’. However, infantile these gestures appear, they seem minor compared with the insults hurled back at the artists, including a member of the audience at the Teatro Verdi, Florence, on 12 December 1913, who gave Marinetti a pistol and invited him to commit suicide on stage.”

A few conclusions.

We are now all Futurists, well some of us study the Futurists and by studying them they believe they can escape their fate.

Artists should welcome insults.

Invitations to commit suicide are allowed.

Please follow the instructions below:

“Dear Artist/ dear Writer

I saw your painting/sculpture/performance/ I read your book.

I enclose a knife/ a pistol/ poison/ my own poetry/ a design for the gallows. For obvious reasons I would like to invite you to commit suicide.


An art lover/ a book lover”

The art lover/ book lover should not complain when he/ she doesn’t receive an answer.

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