umberto boccioni states of mind those who go
In other words, as the viewer looks at the train, the resemblance of what is believed to be real does not occur until the viewer can relate the image with a feeling, name or other subject that then allows the subject to then be identified.
Boccioni has enabled the viewer to peer into a time of great change. He has enabled us to “retinally” experience sociological metamorphosis. Boccioni handed the audience a glimpse of economic and social change during the time of machinery and advanced travel. The world became smaller, and society advanced. The Farewells construction allows the audience to bare witness to the intensity of such changes.
- Explain to students that before the advent of photography, human and animal movement could only be studied by observing an action as it happened in front of you. Show students the photograph of the sprinter and ask them to describe what’s happening in it. Tell them that Étienne-Jules Marey invented a technique he called “chronophotography,” meaning the photography of time. This photographic process allowed him to record a rapid succession of exposures on a single photographic plate, making it possible, essentially, to stop time. With this technique, the movement of a running horse or flying pigeon was revealed. Marey’s work greatly influenced the history of cinematography. Ask students to imagine what discoveries would have been made by people viewing these photographs. Ask them to consider what impact photographs like these had on artists.
- Have students create flipbooks using small blank books made of paper cut into small squares and bound together. Challenge them to depict a figure in the greatest possible range of motion, bearing in mind how the figure will change from page to page. Have students compare and contrast their finished works with Marey’s photograph, and discuss how the movement created by a flipbook is similar to the process of animation.
- Have each student choose and bring in a comic strip. Explain to students that in comics, artists create a visual narrative that unfolds over sequential panels. Engage students in a discussion of the choices made by the artists in these comic strips. Discuss characters, settings, and why specific narrative moments in the story might have been chosen.
Étienne-Jules Marey with George Demeny: Untitled (Sprinter), gelatin silver print, 15.4×37.2 cm, 1890-1900 (New York, Museum of Modern Art); photo © The Museum of Modern Art, New York
He exhibited in London, together with the group, in 1912 (Sackville Gallery) and 1914 (Doré Gallery): the two exhibitions made a deep impression on a number of young English artists, in particular C.R.W. Nevinson, who joined the movement. Others aligned themselves instead to its British equivalent, Vorticism, led by Wyndham Lewis.
Boccioni moved to Milan in 1907. There, early in 1908, he met the Divisionist painter Gaetano Previati. In early 1910 he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who had already published his Manifesto del Futurismo (“Manifesto of Futurism”) in the previous year.  On 11 February 1910 Boccioni, with Balla, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo and Severini, signed the Manifesto dei pittori futuristi (“Manifesto of Futurist painters”), and on 8 March he read the manifesto at the Politeama Chiarella theatre in Turin.