“Un re in ascolto. Les politiciens”

“Un re in ascolto. les politiciens”, 2021. Oil on linen, 165x140cm.
This work is part of an going series inspired by 20th/21st-Century Opera and music that are portraits of human conditions that contrast/expose the aberration and contradictions with a so-called ethical society.
UN RE IN ASCOLTO  title and inspiration is based on Italian composer Luciano Berio, Un Re in Ascolto, 1983/84. Berio’s azione musicale is based on an Italo Calvino story and incorporates excerpts from various sources including Friedrich Einsiedel 1778/FW Gotter 179-91, Shakespeare, The Tempest, inspired opera libretto entitled ‘ Die Geisterinsel (The Ghost/Spirits Island) set to Friedrich Fleischmann music, 1798.
The main theme behind this lies in the contrast between hearing (physiological phenomenon) and listening (psychological phenomenon). Calvino had discussed this with Berio after reading Roland Barthes & Roland Havas text on hearing/listening.
Therefore the mix between historical texts, actual texts and the story of a King who hear the disruptive voices of his corrupt empowered courtiers/ ministers while listening to his inner voices that confuse and cloud his powerless judgement.
Hence the choice of masked figures after a 1751 Pietro Longhi Venetian painting at top of painting. These are followed by zombi-like puppet figures. These were inspired by Paul Klee puppets made for his son Felix during Bauhaus years 1920s-30s.
Bottom of painting is the confused sad king forced to hear the outside dissonant voices that drown the voices his inner conscience and take over his ‘listening‘ completely.

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“Un re in ascolto. les politiciens”, 2021. Oil on linen, 165x140cm.