umberto boccioni unique forms of continuity in space bronze 1913
In 2009 Italian composer Carlo Forlivesi in collaboration with Stefano Fossati, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Melbourne, created an international composition competition and workshop titled Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (Forme Uniche della Continuità nello Spazio), commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Italian Futurism. With a name which brings to mind Boccioni’s piece, the initiative, organised on an annual basis, celebrates the power of musical composition mingled with the strength of the Italian language. The international composition competition and workshop Unique Forms of Continuity in Space aims to contribute to the creation of a large and eclectic body of art works, with particular significance for the relationship between music and poetry.  
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space depicts a human-like figure apparently in motion. The sculpture has an aerodynamic and fluid form. As a pedestal, two blocks at the feet connect the figure to the ground. The figure is also armless and without a discernibly real face. The form was originally inspired by the sight of a football player moving on to a perfectly weighted pass. 
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space integrates trajectories of speed and force into the representation of a striding figure. It does not depict a particular person at a specific moment, but rather synthesizes the process of walking into a single body. For Boccioni, one of the key figures in the Italian Futurist movement, this was an ideal form: a figure in constant motion, immersed in space, engaged with the forces acting upon it.
Boccioni professed no love for classical or Renaissance sculpture. In Futurist Painting Sculpture, a manifesto-style book published in 1914, he wrote that “anyone today who considers Italy to be the country of art is a necrophiliac who thinks of a cemetery as a delightful little alcove.” He declared that art should “have a strict historical relation with the moment in which it appears”; the sculpture of the early twentieth century, he felt, would evoke the speed and dynamism of Italy’s recent industrialization. Boccioni and the other Futurists even embraced the coming world war as a natural development, one that would destroy the remnants of the past and bring humans and machines closer together.
Gallery label, February 2016
It was first exhibited in Boccioni’s one-man show of sculpture at the Galerie La Boetie in Paris in June-July 1913 and was reproduced in his book Pittura Scultura Futuriste: Dinamismo Plastico (Milan 1914) with the date 1913. He referred to it in a letter of 4 September 1913 as ‘my latest and most liberated work’ ( Archivi , Vol.1, p.287).
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Auguste Rodin, The Walking Man, 1907, cast made by Fonderie Alexis Rudier in 1913, bronze, 213.5 x 71.7 x 156.5 cm (Musée Rodin, Paris)
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
Bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989 (1990.38.3)