The Stars & Stripes Forever in the Eternal City
The Stars and Stripes Forever in the Eternal City combines documentary style footage from two popular tourist destinations, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, with a live recording of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. The American marching band anthem was performed by an Italian ensemble on a hot June afternoon directly in front of the Pantheon. Using the same unassuming DSLR camera, I recorded moving images inside the Pantheon and at the Trevi Fountain, paying attention to the ritual aspects of the spaces, and how the spaces influenced behaviors by the spectators. Tourism and ritual are interrelated in the same way that spirituality and entertainment come together in music. It was by chance that the band played “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” but it suited the global scope of this project. The American tendency of exuberance and patriotism seems appropriate in this ancient imperial capital. The small gesture of tossing a coin–throwing away money–provides the tourist with a moment of simultaneous control and connectivity.