Photographing the "Phantoms of the Living": The Fotodinamismo Futurista of Anton Giulio and Arturo Bragaglia, 1911-1913
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Between 1911 and 1913, two Italian brothers named Anton Giulio Bragaglia and Arturo Bragaglia produced Futurist photography which they termed "photodynamism." These images, together with the theoretical manifesto Fotodinamismo futurista, represent a remarkable effort in avant-garde photography and theory in the early 20th century. The Bragaglias' intent in making these photographs was to produce deeply emotional images of modern dynamic motion which convey the spiritual essence of human beings that becomes exteriorized in the process of physical movement. Through a short, intense campaign in 1913, Umberto Boccioni succeeded in expelling the Bragaglias from the Futurist movement. Because of this, the importance of their photography has often been neglected, underrepresented or misrepresented in scholarship. This thesis offers an alternative reading of the photodynamic project based on its occult foundation and a better sense of how to understand photodynamism within the context of the movement and the broader history of photography.