Yellow Leporello 9×9


I began with a playful title for the above, Yellow Leporello. I wanted to see where it would lead me because I know that it always leads somewhere new and surprising. Leporello, the word itself is reputedly taken from Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni which contains the so-called Catalogue Aria in which DG’s manservant, called Leporello, unfolds a list of DG’s amorous deceptions. 

The choice of yellow is significant, colour always has symbolism which, incidentally, varies dramatically between cultures.  In terms of the Western aesthetic canon, for example, yellow symbolises opposite qualities depending on the type of yellow. In Van Gogh’s Sunflowers the overwhelming radiance of the yellow symbolises friendship. But in old religious paintings Judas is typically portrayed in a degraded yellow, the yellow symbolising the betrayal of Christ, the lie. I could make a unifying interpretation of the Yellow Leporello as follows: Don Giovanni’s modus operandi is a combination of friendliness and deceit, the yellow has ambiguity as it is is neither degraded or radiant. How interesting it would be to put this visual in action as a backdrop to the performance of Leporello’s Catalogue Aria. There are other catalogue arias in the world of opera, and it would be interesting to research this and develop a collaborative project.

it is incredible how much can be got out of a dot, first the black one and now the yellow one, endless really. The point or dot is one of the fundamental elements of pictopoiesis.  The dot or point is replete with latent potential. It can grow linearly to form a lin, the dot the line’s point of departure, origin, source. In itself, the dot can be expanded, become corporeal. The permutations possible are endless, just by thinking imaginatively of this one fundamental element. Pictopoiesis is a kind of wandering but it has an underlying structure designed to enable full freedom in that wandering as it is not a pointless (no pun intended) nor aimless wandering as it has direction overall; and it always leads somewhere new and surprising.

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