Anton Giulio Bragaglia
Anton Giulio Bragaglia was the intellectual leader of Italian Futurist photography; he made his photographs in collaboration with his younger brother Arturo Bragaglia. Anton Giulio completed his scholastic education at the local seminary in his Italian hometown; however, his artistic training was developed as an assistant, alongside his brothers, in his father Francesco Bragaglia’s film production company in Rome. In 1911 he published the first of three editions of his book Fotodinamismo futurista (Futurist photodynamism), a treatise on photography that integrated influences from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s first Futurist manifesto of 1909, the chronophotographs of Étienne-Jules Marey, and cinema. Members of the Futurist movement sat for a number of photodynamist portraits by the Bragaglia brothers, and Marinetti offered the brothers financial support for their experiments. In 1913 the brothers participated in the Futurist evening at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, distributing copies of Fotodinamismo futurista among the participants. Anton Giulio continued to organize exhibitions of their work and published a new manifesto, titled La fotografia del movimento (Photography of movement), as well as an extended edition of Fotodinamismo futurista in June 1913. In October 1913, the Bragaglia brothers were excluded from the Futurist group by request of Umberto Boccioni. In 1914 Anton Giulio’s focus began to shift from photography to film; he collaborated with Enrico Prampolini on several films in 1916 and 1917. In October 1918 he opened the Casa d’arte Bragaglia, which existed in Rome until 1943 as an exhibition space for Futurist art and a meeting point for intellectuals and artists. With his brother Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia he created the Teatro degli Indipendenti in 1922, a theater that ran until 1928.
Introduction by Mitra Abbaspour, Associate Curator, Department of Photography, 2014