Self Portrait / The Port | Félix Del Marle, 1913 - 14

Félix Del Marle: Self Portrait, 1913
Félix Del Marle, The Port, 1914

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  1. Futurist Manifesto against Montmartre /
    Aime Felix Mac Del Marle, Futurist painter /
    Paris-Journal / 1913


    When we erected the solid pedestal of Futurism in Paris, we thought of you, Montmartre, old romantic infection! Now, as your last degenerate and crippled sons yap helplessly around you, we finally rise and shout at the top of our voices: Forward, demolishers.

    And we mean the Butte itself, let it be clear. The bars and the night restaurants don't matter, but we have had enough of sentimental adventures, little houses, little gardens, little birds...

    Montmartre, scrofulous mound, the shadow of your hideous goitre dedicated to the Sacré Coeur shelters a rabble of antiquarians and retired shopkeepers - get rid of them! Together with your miserable endowment, those antiquated hussar trousered artists (!), those passéist motheaten parrots. Yes, we know you have the Rue Saint-Vincent, the Rue des Saules, the Place du Calvaire - so what? That all belongs to the past; once it was a flower, now it is a dung heap, and we are young, alive and strong, and those morbid, sickly alleys with their tottering half-dead houses fill us with disgust and loathing.

    So stop luring from their distant provinces those comic-opera supernumaries, those long-haired daubers whose marrow you suck before leaving them to rot in the filthy water of your ruts. Oh yes, you have cherished them, these lovers of a night, these ambitious bohemians, like a prostitute defends "her man", and have also pushed them into the deepest shame, even as far as the Pont des Arts.

    Have you forgotten, Montmartre, that once you were a rock of resistance against all that belonged to yesterday, all that glorified the obvious? But Donnay has left the "Chat Noir", Pierrot has become diseased by honours and wants to join the institution, and Louise, weak and repentant, has returned to the respectable bosom of her family.

    Crumbling old houses, rotting walls, fences hiding mountains of excrement - your time is up!

    Away with you, vile merchants of holy objects who beckon prostitutes, with your pseudo-artistic cabarets and awful bric-a-brac, cemeteries of objets d'art. Flee into the night of the past with all your multicoloured rags, your stillborn dreams, and take with you your hoarse Mimi Pinsons, your elderly Musettes. But you go on rotting where you are. You lack the energy to rebel, and in the demolished ruins we shall find nothing but stinking dust.

    Call us savages, barbarians - we don't care! We are strong, I assure you, and we are climbing to attack your maggoty cheese followed by the great army of victors with metal scaffolding, dynamite and explosives.

    Your Moulin de la Galette will be swallowed up by a Metro station. Your flea-ridden Place du Tertre will be crossed by buses and trams, and from all the dung that you are trying to defend today an apotheosis of skyscrapers will rise to pierce the heavens, great blocks of houses infinitely tall. And then you will laugh with us at your attachment to these remnants of another century. Like us, you will want to perceive all the new beauty of geometrical buildings, stations, electrical instruments, aeroplanes, our whole life whirling with steel, fever and speed.

    There are corpses that must be killed.

    Montmartre must be killed!

    The last windmills will fall, the twisting coy old streets collapse.

    Make way for the Futurist pick!

    Montmartre will have ended its life. It will cease to be the rotten brain crowned with a clerical cap, weighing on a Paris which is awakening to the inspiration of the future.

    And in the evening, when the sun goes down, the brilliant beams of a thousand electric lamps will pierce the great highways filled with noise and movement. The majestic facades with their multicoloured electric signs willlight up violently; the wild trembling of our wonderful speed machines will be heard, and at the window of your advertisements will wheel tirelessly against the sky, conquered at last.

    Montmartre must be destroyed!!!

    .

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