HD video, 21’ and related research materials
Film written, directed, edited and produced by Mykola Ridnyi
Production: Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, Villa Massimo in Rome
Russia’s attack on its neighbor is driven by a nationalist ideology remarkably similar to that of Hitler and even the war’s ruthless details are reminiscent of the crimes committed by the Nazi regime. Yet Russian propaganda justifies its invasion as one aimed against «fascists» who supposedly not only have taken over Ukrainian politics but also sit at the helm of NATO today. Mykola Ridniy’s film Temerari, made before Russia’s full-fledged invasion, tackles this incredibly controversial subject. In the form of a post-internet travelogue, Ridniy revisits the militarist, accelerationist aesthetic of Italian Futurism through its filmic documents. He looks at its daredevil misogyny, and its embrace of purifying violence, and how those aesthetics recur in the present – where Futurist ideas inspire not only museum-goers, but Ukrainian nationalists, and Italian neo-fascists alike. Contrary to the myths spread by Kremlin propaganda, these new fans of Marinetti and Ezra Pound have no special preference for Ukraine; they tend rather to fight on the side of the Russians (whose irregular and regular troops themselves include a vast number of ultra-nationalists and neo-nazis). Ridniy’s film deftly navigates the ideological complexities of this topic – showing how cultural history normalizes and reproduces the toxic ideologies of the past, and how artists might work to fully deconstruct them.
A special research installation offers further details uncovered during the making of the film, introducing its cast of characters, locations and phenomena, accompanied by a slideshow with further futurist and anti-fascist artifacts.
“What Matters?”, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2022. Photo: Akademie der Künste