Stefan Cammeraat


Futurists without prospects, 2016

In 2016 P/////AKT is starting a new program: the P/////AKTPOOL. It allows young and talented artists, who have graduated from one of the Dutch academies in 2015, an opportunity to develop and showcase their practice in the course of six months, supported by the P/////AKT-team. Each year two top talents are invited to organise three consecutive presentations in the tower-annex, next to the main exhibition space. These presentations run simultaneously to the main program. The first Talent is Stefan Cammeraat, who graduated from the HKU in the summer of 2015.

After his fateful crash in 1908, Marinetti did not only get struck by a ‘Eureka!’ moment - as well known within Modernism as Kandinsky’s, discovering abstract art by entering his studio one day, only to find one of his paintings tilted on its side for storage reasons -, it also prompted him into gathering a group of writers and artists who were willing to work with him on what was to become Futurism. While the movement originally consisted exclusively of Marinetti himself, the futurists made a name for themselves within mere months. This by now mythical crash not only kicked off the Futurists trajectory towards their utopian vision, it was also greeted with harsh, often fair, criticism. One of those critics supposedly was one Etorre Angelini, a mechanic present at said crash, who by way of experiment applied Futurist theory to one of their most important and yet least investigated subjects: the motor car.

Constructing a maintenance manual for the F.I.A.T. 24-32 hp Marinetti drove into a ditch on the 15th of October, 1908 became his life goal. Yet, in a fashion similar to Pierre Menard, in that certain Borges story 1, he figured that any historical documentation of this project was contradictory to his intentions. Marinetti went through great lengths to try and hide any evidence of the project, among other things by burying his beloved F.I.A.T. As you can imagine it was only by great difficulty that I was able to get close to any reconstruction of this document, and in some instances it required both my imagination and the extensive use of historical sources to which Angelini supposedly had access to form a somewhat coherent publication. With a motorcar a crash or sudden stop is inevitable, and the modern motorcar must be built in accordance to this possibility. While the driver might foresee most problems by virtue of his ever shifting perspective, and can adjust accordingly, there are some things which cannot be overcome. The mechanic, Ettore Angelini, was aware of this flaw in motor engines and was sensible enough to make this observation concerning Marinetti’s crash. He also saw the uncanny resemblance to the problems arising in Futurist ideologies, and the more general break with tradition in Modernism. The problems that Angelini encountered in his journey are comparable to those of the Dadaists, when on a certain afternoon they found a wallet from a French waiter containing 3,500 francs. To either keep it or return it would result in a break with Dadaist ideology.

To further underline the importance of Angelini’s views on the conservation of Modernist history, I divided this project into three parts. Each part consists of a show based on the information I gathered for the construction of the publication and subsequently inviting a writer to reflect in his or her own way on this unknown history of Ettore Angelini. Those writings, along with documentation of my shows at P/////AKT, were combined to produce this small publication. A sociological approach to the car-crash, an investigation into the history of car design and a reflection upon Marinetti’s life following the example of The Annals of St. Gall, form a sort of collateral damage surrounding the existence of Angelini’s manuscript. This collateral damage is comparable to the unforeseen consequences of both Futurist ideology and the wallet which broke up Dadaism, which exclaimed the death of Futurism 2 while, ironically, suffering the same fate themselves.

1. Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, The garden of forking paths, included in Ficciones, J.L Borges, Grove Press, New York city, New York, 1962
2. Dada souleve tout, E. Varèse, Tr. Tzara, Ph. Soupault, Soubeyran, J. Rigaut, G. Ribemont-Dessaignes, M. Ray, F. Picabia, B. Péret, C. Pansaers, R. Huelsenbeck, J. Evola, M. Ernst, P. Eluard, Suz. Duchamp, M. Duchamp, Crotti, G. Cantarelli, Marg. Buffet, Gab. Buffet, A. Breton, Baargeld, Arp, W.C. Arensberg, L. Aragon, January 12th 1921

With special thanks to all the people from, and published by P/////akt, Amsterdam

Cover design:
Dongyoung Lee

Omar Muñoz Cremers
Peter van den Hoogen
Riet Wijnen

Charlott Markus

Concept and design:
Stefan Cammeraat

Download the publication:

Or get a physical copy at P/////AKT / Or here / Or contact me.