Jacopo Ernesto Gasparrini

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Visual Artist.
Born and raised in Rome, 1993.
BA in Design and Visual Communication, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy.
MFA in Painting, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy.

Zombusiness Men

So I saw the last Zack Snyder’s movie, Army of the dead oe watever. Shitty movie. Bautista made me miss wrestling but thats’ all. It’s just as boring as World War Z. Zombies right now represetn surely the biggest share of horror imaginary. Ghosts, possessions, aliens, witches... those are nothing compared to the influence of zombies on pop coltyre. Why????

I’ts weird ot you thing about it. Zombies are sucj a recent invention in the western culture, while ghosts, the devil and maghic are very anxient things in my culture. 

The concept of the zombie must ticle some gears in our brain that are getting activated from new conditions. The idea of someone coming back to life after death is surely antique, even older than old testament or egyptian stuff. Zombie is someone that comes back from death with deadly intentions. With hunger. It would be easy to adress the popularity of the zombies to some issue with Death or the fear of itself. But since death is the second most ancient thing after birth I ‘d say it’s npt completely abiut that.

Also, It’s very intresting to see how zombies are changinf in the years. At firsto slow, stupid and weak, that were inteded to scare the viewer only because of their pale skin or the empty eyes. From the Romero’s idiot zombie to the fast and smart zombie in The Last of Us. What is driving tis change in the genre--?

As many contemprary questions , adve ture time gave us a hint. Pendleton Ward depicts zombies as livin dead burocrats, with handbags and perfect haircuts, but eith dead skin and pustules. Im not talkinga bout episode one, wirh zombie candies ︎, but well be talking about that too. 

Zombies are catchy becuase of the idea that everyone atound us can be an enemy. Its the only horrpr subgenre htat implies a complete turn in society. Most of the zombies movues have a little handful of survivors fighting for their lives in the middle of a pandemic. Sounds familiar? During thw Covid 19 world crisis everybody may kill you with a sneeze. The thing is, zombies are older than coronavirus. So where is it coming? The answe is csapitalism︎. The idea that our neighbours, our work colleagues, our relaivs may harm us anytime, and will harm us if they need to, turns the idea of collaborative society in a mexican stall. The guy with whom you’ve been chatting with during breaks at work now might tyrn against you, talking shit about you with the boss. Your girldriend now is an ex and spends her tyime actively trying to ruin your life- Your neighhbour isn’t an ally anymore,  the fact thatyou’re paying taxes together in order to defend yourselves from weather and burglars becomes secondary- Npow you just fight each other over noise. 

The concept of zombie is born from our perception of being the only living person, while everyoine else is dead, empty bodies around us that we fear and can’t uderstand.

Also, the fact that evil can hide inside outr societu may also come forom terrrosist culture. It’s been only 10 years from the wave of terrorist attacks in western cities. The idea of spare, invisible people organizing in order to fight and randmly kill isnt that far from the cliché starting scene from any zombie movie... he girl apparently drunk wandering in the crowded city and suddenly attacking people atroun d. That’s not different from some guy bringing a knife and starting to stab people and police agents before getting shot in Paris right?  Right... Zombies are nothing more and nothing less than Gilet Jaunes movement, young arabs getting radicalized in suburbs or also Qanon shitheads pretending to fight some racial war. 

Int he first episode of adve trure time Princess Bubblegum︎︎︎ finds a formula which could bring back dead candies to life. Obviously the thing goes wrong and they become zombies. Wha0ts worse is that the living candies can’t get scaried or they would explode, so finn contrives a way to make the living candies fight against zombie candies without exploding: he just covers their eyes and pretend that zombies are piñatas. The living candies kill the zombies and eat their candy entrails without suspecting a thing. 
Now. let’s make a little parallelism. Let’s pretend that we are candies, living a pink and sweet life, in which is forbidden to talk about our problems. We pretend to live a problem free life, full of goals, we basically live a kitsch life. Even bad things are labeled in a bad-but-still-ok aesthetics. There might be some people, anyway, that decide to stop accepting rhis social pact, and fight back. For any reason, for the black people rights or for Quran’s sake, for Pizzagate or for mental health issues. Us, living candies must not empathize with tem. We cover our eyes and once we killed the protest we eat its spoils, as a tamed beast.

The world is getting more and more consfusing, people feel bad, feel lost and can’t even tel why. We have netflix and fast fashion but it’s not enough, it has never been enough. Wha’ts missing is an ideal, so,ething that can unite the lowest layer of society that isn’t just anger. Ther’es no left in politics anymore, what’s left is just a profound feel of loneliness. Zombies must be the manifestation of a reaction to this. Zombies lose conscience of themselves, their only function becomes convert the livings to their state of being. Donesn0s matter what happens, how much time passes, if there’s no food at all etc. they won’t kill each other.

Zombies are a truly supportive society.

So maybe zombies are the answer for our need of a new union in society, after the disappearance of the left party. Maybe zombies are the good guys.

Jacopo Ernesto Gasparrini