The Palace of the Post Office in La Spezia, Liguria, is a futuristic celebration of communication.
The building was designed by Angiolo Mazzoni and built in 1933, and hosts in its tower a great mosaic by the Futurist masters Luigi Fillia and Enrico Prampolini. This unique work of art was to represent the wondrous destiny of globalized communication, with fleet airplanes, unstoppable ships, and penetrating trains.
Gazing at the tesserae-encrusted walls, you can almost hear the ultramodern rumble of communication by air, sea and land.
This must be one of the compositions that the 1938 “Futurist Manifesto of Ceramics and Aeroceramics” implicitly glorifies, as its authors praise the innovative developments of ceramics, the experimental research that brings mechanical aesthetics and its dominant rhythms into this craft, and the synthetic aeropainting that can dynamically document landscapes – both natural and urban – from above.
Ezra Pound, one of the supporters of Vorticism – and English cultural movement that has much in common with Italian Futurism – once said, “Peace comes of communication”.
The palace was inaugurated in the same year of Hitler’s rise to power; in a mere few years, the airplanes, trains and ships extolled by the mosaic would be entrusted with a completely different mission, and rerouted towards the hard work that could be of service during the war – “the world’s only hygiene”, according to the founding father of Futurism, Marinetti.
Don’t be surprised if a bewildering vertigo catches up with you under this mosaic-sky.