Arcadia Missa is pleased to present Prologue: Juliette Blightman and Dorothy Iannone. The work (Ta)Rot Pack (1968-69) by Dorothy Iannone can be thought of as the starting point for this exhibition, which presents work by these two artists, who use their own lives as the material for their work.
The exhibition will travel and expand to the Kölnischer Kunstverein on the 30 th October 2020 and then in 2021 to the Vleeshal Middelburg.
Love is the inspiration of my work. I made (Ta)Rot Pack, a series of twenty-seven cards depicting the life of Dieter Roth, my beloved and my muse, in the early period of our relationship. During 1968-69, I worked on the cards while we were living in Düsseldorf where Dieter was professor at the Academy of Art, and in Reykjavik where he sometimes lived in order to see his children from a former marriage every afternoon for an hour, and in Villefranche-sur-Mer in France where I sometimes visited my close friends, Marianne and Robert Filliou.
Each card of my (Ta)Rot Pack, which has virtually no relation to the original Tarot cards, brings something. That something is the consequence of the activity which is visually presented. For instance, DR teaching his students brings “Patience”, DR and DI joined in a complete embrace “Brings What Everyone Wants”, DR cooking brings “Innocence”, DR embracing his children brings “Warmth”, “Reverence” depicts DR engaged in cunnilingus. On one corner of the cards, I copied an image from DR’s works.
In the Introduction to the New Museum’s edition of my (Ta)Rot Pack, the curator, Jarrett Gregory, wrote: “In her depictions of the couple, she evokes profound love and pleasure by portraying both the divine and mundane aspects of their life together.” When we weren’t together, I made artworks about our relationship, and that enabled me to remain immersed in the beloved.
- Dorothy Iannone
I replicate the original Tarot cards, titling each work after one of the major arcana, using different motifs that reoccur in my work, like a toilet, to represent for instance, the throne. By drawing from my personal experience and the boundaries my domestic responsibilities and motherhood have on my ability to create, I review working methods through domestic space, exploring the different rhythms and atmospheres each room has, of my home, and other peoples. This allows different life experiences to coexist next to each other, I incorporate painting, drawing and photography. The rooms in a home hold different purposes, environments and atmospheres, as well as different relationships to the other inhabitants of the home, or the isolation of being alone.
An important work for me, and similar to the (Ta)Rot Pack but with a more narrational form, is Iannone’s The Story of Bern (Or) Showing Colors (1970), a publication that was made immediately after a series of real-life events around the censoring of her work in an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern. Without this book, the record of these events could have been otherwise forgotten. When I first met Iannone in 2014, hearing her recall the experience from 1969, led me to making a series of penis portraits. In 2016, with the support of the first female director of the Kunsthalle Bern, my works were able to be exhibited uncensored.
- Juliette Blightman
Works (from left to right):
Diseaseeds and Pollutionation, 2020
Single channel video with sound, soundtrack by Anthony Silvester
6 minutes, 40 seconds
The Story Of Bern (Or) Showing Colors, 1970
Diaporama of an artist book from 1970
24 minutes, 9 seconds
Stages of Seed Development, 2020
28 tarot cards: pencil drawings and gouache on paper, coloured photographs
Each: 29.4 x 20.8 cm
(Ta)Rot Pack, 1968/69, 2016
27 laser copies on card, front and back, from 54 original drawings from 1968/69
Each: 26.5 x 20 cm