Dorothy Iannone & Juliette Blightman: (Ta)Rot Tarot

In 2020, Juliette Blightman invited Dorothy Iannone to work on a collaborative exhibition starting at Arcadia Missa (London, UK), then travelling to Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne, Germany) and Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art (Middelburg, Netherlands).

Blightman discovered (Ta)Rot Pack (1968–69) when she came across a copy of The Story of Bern, a hand-drawn artist book created by Iannone. The work depicts her time with the artist Dieter Rot – their everyday life and passionate relationship – through a series of 27 tarot cards.*

(Ta)Rot Pack can be seen as the instigator for this series of exhibitions. Blightman was inspired to create a new version of the tarot pack, drawing on her own personal experiences, reflecting on the boundaries of domestic responsibility, motherhood and the home.

This large-scale publication collects each artists work and presents them as two equal sides, viewable with a flip of the book. Each with their own front cover of foiled names.

The spine represents the card-based nature of the work, fanning out the title lettering from vertical to horizontal.

Client  

Category  

Exhibition

Kölnischer Kunstverein

The Köln Concert

31 October 2020 – 7 March 2021

Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art

The Vleeshal Opera

26 June – 12 September 2021

Texts

Michael Glasmeier and Amelia Stein

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König

Concept with

Gregorio Magnani

Each side of the book starts with a text exploring the artists approach to the work, before flowing into an un-broken run of near full-scale plates and ending with an installation shot of other large-scale work from the Kölnischer Kunstverein exhibition.

The book is then intersected by a colourful paper change, forming a place of meeting for the two series at the very centre.

Typography nods to the characterful hand-rendered lettering often found on tarot cards. A ‘fat’ decorative cut of Caslon Doric Condensed, one of the earliest sans serifs, frames the cover and list of works at the centre of the book. Body text is set in Turnery.

Format

240 × 320 mm

Extent

136pp

Binding

Section sewn

Typefaces

Caslon Doric Condensed, Turnery


* (Ta)Rot Pack was first shown in the 1969 group exhibition, Freunde – Friends – d’Fünde, at the Kunsthalle Bern. Whilst installing, Iannone was asked by several artists to cover the genitals in her work with tape due to their explicit nature. On returning to the gallery the next day she found that several of the works had then been completely removed by the gallery a few hours before officially opening.

Iannone and Rot decided to remove all of their work in protest against this censorship, and created the publication The Story of Bern in response. The work was exhibited in its full arrangement the following year in Düsseldorf.

Upon hearing this story of censorship, Blightman created a series of penis portraits that were exhibited at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2016, with the help of their first female director, Valérie Knoll.