Audio transcript

Umberto Boccioni 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space'

Narrator:Umberto Boccioni's 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space' dates from 1913.Tate curator, Iwona Blazwick

Boccioni was part of the Futurist group, who worked in Milan and Turin and who were dedicated to smashing the institutions of what they saw as a moribund Italian past. They attacked museums as mausoleums, they attacked the state and they attacked the church. What they wanted to celebrate was the dynamism of modern life. They embraced speed, they embraced the idea of the volatility of the car, the train, the industrial factory and tried to find a form for that dynamism through sculpture and painting. 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space' is an extraordinary work which attempts to marry the figure with the flux of movement. The figure looks as if it's dissolving. It's an incarnation of dynamism as it lunges forward into space. It seems to be dematerialising before our very eyes. The use of metal means it reflects and becomes part of the space and the environment around it. It glints and shimmers in the light in such a way as to give a form to something as ephemeral as velocity and speed.