Perhaps the fact that it can never properly be defined is what makes Dorothy Iannone’s art so explosive. Born in Boston in 1933, she was the long-term lover of Dieter Roth and belonged to the Fluxus community without ever being a Fluxus artist herself. Her art is naive without being innocent, corporeal and intimate without being pornographic, intelligent but non-academic. It’s precise, obsessed with detail and at the same time impulsive, and it operates across different media. From 1968 Iannone combined video and sound recordings with painting and sculpture for her “Singing Boxes”. Another mixedmedia work was “Aua, Aua” (1972), with a song lamenting the loss of her lover Dieter Roth. Meanwhile a particular strength of her work is its literary component: the cool flatness of the two-dimensional body is brought to life by tender, precise and often ambiguous or humorous language, without the need for specific facial expressions. It also often remains unclear who is actually speaking, even as the words are virtually “tattooed” on to the figures.
What is ecstatic unity?
Marie-Sophie Müller, Sleek Magazine, April 1, 2014