Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die

part of Futurist Life Redux – a Performa Commission with SFMOMA and Portland Green Cultural Projects.

Ben Coonley

In 1916 the Italian Futurist artist Arnaldo Ginna filmed, edited and generally oversaw the creation of Vita Futurista (Futurist Life), the only officially “Futurist” film ever made. Created by a committee of futurists, including sculptor, painter and writer Giacomo Balla, playwright and poet Remo Chiti, writer Bruno Corra (also the brother of Ginna, and the co-creator of Ginna’s hand painted completely abstract films of 1909), founder of Futurism, poet, and declaimer F.T. Marinetti, poet and Author Emilio Settimelli, painter and Ginna’s film assistant Lucia Venna and Paolo Ungari, Vita Futurista directly took up several of the ideas proposed by “The Futurist Cinema” manefesto, which delacred that film was the “expressive medium most adapted to the complete sensibility of the Futurist artist.”

On the occasion of Performa 09’s celebration of Futurism, Performa, SFMOMA and Portland Green Cultural Projects had invited an incredible group of contemporary film and video artists to create their own versions of the original segments in Vita Futurista, re-imagining this film in relation to our future.

Ben Coonley’s Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die was inspired by the Vita Futurista of the same name.

Ben Coonley makes videos and performances that use consumer-grade media technologies to overturn everyday conventions of media culture and tweak avant-garde histories. His works have been presented at venues including the international Film Festival Rotterdam, New York underground Film Festival, Images Festival, Pacific Film Archive and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He has taught video and media production at Princeton and the new school University.

Commissioned by Performa , SFMOMA and Portland Green Cultural Projects



Available for theatrical screening in the UK as part of Futurist Life Redux Screening Programme 

To book a viewing contact: programme@portlandgreen.com