WE ARE ALL ENEA
Filippo Riniolo (ITA) and Julia Jenewein (AU) for Magic Carpets Italy 2023
“We are the end and the new beginning; we are all Aeneas.”
From this sentence, I would like to commence the narrative of the journey undertaken by Filippo Riniolo and Julia Jenewein for the Meet/Game project of Magic Carpets Italy 2023, which this year focused on the themes of myth, encounter, and play. According to all oral and written sources and findings, the practice of ludic aggregation has always held strong cultural and, especially, social value. Through play, new knowledge can be acquired, different disciplines integrated, and, above all, new moments created to learn to be together, get to know each other, and share. Aggregation and sharing were indeed the main elements that characterized our journey, our “Homeric” undertaking to give life together to the new, contemporary myth of the foundation of Rome.
In our journey, the figure of Aeneas accompanied and guided us. The hero from whom descended the dynasty that founded the city of Rome: a wanderer and traveler, he crossed unknown lands and met heroes and mythological characters. In our story, he became a true metaphor for the journey, for the tragically topical condition of the migrant, and guided us in the reinterpretation and construction of this new contemporary myth.
But now: “”Make way, Roman writers, and you too, Greeks: something greater than the Iliad is being born.”
Let’s start by introducing the two epic poets-travelers of our poem.
Filippo Riniolo, an artist based in Rome, focuses his research on poetic, political, social, historical, and current themes, giving life to works of high meaning using different media. In our new myth, Filippo has chosen to identify himself with Homer, the Greek epic poet, father of the two greatest poems still worldwide known today, to give a new face to the characters of classical mythology. Embarking on this new adventure by the will of the Gods, he has been assisted and supported by Julia Jenewein, a freelance director from the off-scene of Tyrol. A sharp feminist and a great specialist of myth, who in her practice deals with contemporary dramaturgy and deals with local tradition and cultural heritage, always questioning and interpreting them in new ways. Identifying herself in Virgil, the Roman parallel of her Greek friend in adventures, she has transformed emotions, sensations, moods, and feelings into gestures, words, sounds, and movements.
The union of these two poets was the key to the new narrative, to this new Rome. One attentive and dedicated to the construction of the divine characters of the new myth; the other, dynamic and brave, focused on creating a new life through the freedom of movement. Both unknown at the beginning of this adventure but so ideologically and temperamentally close, to be able to involve all the inhabitants of the different stages. The Latitudo Art Projects team, meeting point of the two artists, was transformed adventure after adventure into the Gods of the Mount Olympus and helped in the narration of this mythological enterprise. The various adventures saw all of us accompanied by many brave little travelers ready to undertake this journey together, this work to give life together to a new Rome, with fun and a bit of madness. A Rome without discrimination; a city where, at least in our story, has reigned only: equality, fun, care, imagination, and above all, the desire to be together even if seemingly strangers. With our Homer and Virgil, and accompanied by the morals and attitudes of the Gods/Goddess of the Olympus, we crossed five neighborhoods. In each of these, at each stage of our journey, we asked for hospitality inside the Biblio-ships  , where we studied our characters, modifying their features and behavioral characteristics, making them the new guides for the construction of our city.
With Filippo-Homer, we created new masks, etching the faces of our divine guides on sheets of copper and silver that became, in the journey, the symbol of the lessons learned, also representing the pillars of the foundation of this new city. In each neighborhood, in each stage of our journey, we drew the features of our guiding deities, which then came to life thanks to the guidance of Julia-Virgil. In Labaro, we were accompanied by “Venus and Mars” representing love, beauty, but also war, battles, and violence. During the first stage of our collective action, with our little travelers, we transformed Mars’ hatred with the love and vitality of Venus, making the two new Gods ready to accompany us and transport us to the second stage. In Spinaceto, we crossed together: the sea, desolate lands, and even the underworld to get to know “Pluto and Proserpina” better. Together we flew over boundless territories of the world and the underworld, crossing even the dreadful Styx. Virgil and Homer accompanied us as wise guides and taught us to transform cruelty into generosity and understanding.
We then reached a long stone palace called Serpentone Corviale. Here we met “Medusa and Mercury” with whom we transformed the cold, gray stones into something warm and lively. Medusa taught us to go beyond the grotesque and distrust and told us that often behind apparent wickedness, there are complex stories, there is a lot of sadness and loneliness. Together with Mercury, however, we managed to delve deep into the heart of this Serpentone, communicate with it until giving it a new life and animating it together, then flying towards the fourth adventure.
Almost at the end of the journey, we met and gave a new form to the Mother and Father of all the Gods and Goddesses. “Jupiter and Juno” welcomed us in Tufello and taught us to transform anger into calm. With their masks and knowledge, we finally embarked towards the unknown place meant for the foundation: the shores of the VIII Lotto, in the Trullo district.
All together: Filippo-Homer, Julia-Virgil, the crew of Meet/Game, the Gods and Goddesses, arrived at the chosen location, bringing to life a collective and itinerant performative action. During this event, they explained and told the long journey to all those who followed and accompanied us, eager to finally see this new city. No inequality, no war, no superiority characterized this path, only joy, commitment, and a sense of community:
We are Labaro, we are Spinaceto, we are Corviale, we are Tufello, we are Trullo
We are the end of the old story and the beginning of a new world
We are the new founders of the city
We are hope
We are all Aeneas
Curatorial text by Paola Farfaglio
 Properzio, Elegie, II, 34, 65-66
 The workshops of the Magic Carpets Italia 2023 project took place within the Public Libraries located in the different neighborhoods mentioned in the text, thanks to the support of the “Public Institution of Libraries and Cultural Centres of Rome” di Roma
 Also known as the “river of hate,” it is according to Greek and Roman mythology one of the five rivers of the Underworld