Dorothy Iannone

© Dorothy Iannone. Photo: We Document Art – Antwerp, 2023
The Story Of Bern (Or) Showing Colors, 1970
Collection The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Other , 23 x 22 cm
set of 69 drawings, felt pen on cardboard

“Maybe you could say that my book The Story of Bern which Dieter and I published in 1970 was a new kind of art history. It tells the story in words and drawings of the exhibition Freunde — Friends — d’Fründe, at the Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, which at the time was directed by Harald Szeemann. Four Swiss artist friends, Daniel Spoerri, André Thomkins, Karl Gerstner, and Dieter Roth, happened to all be living in Düsseldorf. They decided that each would invite as many of their friends as they liked, to exhibit with them. André invited thirty, Daniel six or so, and Karl, nine. Dieter invited only two, Emmett Williams and me because, he said, he wanted to show the intense relationship between us and him. From me, Dieter requested (Ta)rot, a set of twenty-seven cards depicting scenes from Dieter’s life, as well as my Dialogues, a series of original books in which I recorded, with drawings and words, scenes from our life, and Lists (IV).

Early on, there was concern among some of the artists that my work would cause trouble. The day before the opening, Harald and Karl put some brown tape over the genitals. This didn’t hurt the work physically because Dieter had hung everything in plastic containers. But after a discussion at dinner that evening, it was decided to remove the tape and show the work uncensored. However, the next morning, when the head of the board of directors saw my work, he declared most of it unsuitable. And so, Harald had to remove some of the works. As a protest against the censorship of my work, the day after the opening, Dieter removed all of his work from the show because, he said, his part of the exhibition no longer made sense.”

 Dorothy Iannone, from Maurizio Cattelan, Dorothy lannone. A Revolutionary Life. Flash Art International, n° 247, March-April 2006, pp. 79-81