The research of Gabriele De Santis is the perfect artistic formalization of the converging culture. The A.S. Roma locker-room is the physical and mental space in which great masters of contemporary art wear the shirt of the champion. Italian art history, popular culture, simultaneity of information, unlocked by auto-referential mechanisms they converge on a common dimension: the locker-room becomes territory of confrontation, the island of neverland to trace the artistic inspiration or design the next strategy of life, the physical and mental space in which one belongs, the place where the subject transforms in community and art acquires historical relevance, but also the perfect condition to prepare for a chess match, metaphor of art as life. The Italian art arena provides the artists an unconscious humanism and confirms their ancestry: being an Italian artist doesn’t just imply creative liberty, it entails a cultural responsibility that gives greater profoundness to the artistic action. Today art and its stories dissolve like smoke to the eyes in front of a historic phenomenon that is changing the creation of subjective and collective knowledge. Internet produces dissent, identity, awareness and the new media are causing an inter-cognitive revolution that is comparable, in terms of acquisition and transformation of data transformed by our brains, to the one which occurred millions of years ago: the conquest of phonation. The mechanisms and the evolutionary process of this new space of consciousness are those theorized by Henry Jenkins in his Convergence Culture. Where Old and New Media Collide, a passage way that brings from induced formation to global self-education.
In Rome there were three forms of mass-entertainment: the ludi scenici (theatres), the ludi circenses(horse races at the Circus Maximus) and the compitalicii (in public squares). Of Greek and Etruscan origin, starting from 3rd century BCE the ludii (games) are always more frequent and go hand in hand with the political role that projects Rome from local authority to global power. Multiculturalism and an ever-more cosmopolitan political scene encourage Rome to make of the ludii a characteristic sign, a unique brand of its global aspirations without giving up its traditions (it is possible that the ludii were organized even earlier, starting from 6th century BCE). Ludii romani or ludii magni (connected to the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus), ludii plebeii (the first public games), ludii scenici, ludii stati, ludi Ceriales, ludii Apollinares, ludii Florales, ludii votivi are just some of the numerous events (of political or religious themes) that entertained the population. Regarding the ludii gladiatorii, they were often connected with funerary rituals that set up human sacrifices in the form of fights and battles. In Rome, the first munus was the one offered in the Foro Boario in 264 BCE for the funerals of Giunio Bruto Pera, even though the funerary ritual is transformed in a public show untied from any funerary mourning. Counsels, magistrates and political authorities economically supported the gladiatorial games as a form of propaganda. This form of entertainment was loved by the people to the point that under Augustus it was compulsory for the magistrates to organize the shows at least once a year and the people would pay for half of the expenses for the games. Panem et circenses(bread and games) summarizes the critique of Giovenale towards politics. A politics that was transforming into a show and had in the games the perfect weapon of manipulation for mass consensus. With the arrival of Christianity, the ethical doctrine in defense of life will strongly condemn the gladiatorial games, which will be officially banned by Onorio in 404.
Eric. M. Orlin, Foreign Cults in Rome.Creating a Roman Empire, New York 2010