Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want

"Art is an extended act away from the being, art is something else. Not everything can be art, and just because you're an artist doesn't mean everything you touch is art. You have to decide and know what is art, and you have  to be separate from yourself."

-Tracey Emin -1st August 2009-

Well said, Emin.

The problem with contemporary art nowadays is that it can be irritatingly quotidian, or wants to draw attention to itself or it comes with an invisible 'SHOCK HORROR' banner. As are the Tracey Emin's works: exposed and autobiographical. As Emin so eloquently said 'Not everything can be art', how can we approach her works as pieces of art?

Her recent exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, 'Love is What You Want' spans through every aspect of her artistic career, exploring all media; paintings, drawings, memorabilia, needlework, photography, neons, films, expressing a spectrum of sentiments resulting in an equally wide spectrum of works.Works which of course have a sprinkling of her light-hearted playfulness, ironic wit and frank nature:

My natural childish impulse meant that I found myself sniggering in the dark corridors where these were displayed...with other people. Neon has its seedy parallels, but our Tracey finds them 'sexy' and 'pulsating'.

Questionable is her section about her abortion, in which she openly talks about the procedure, her thoughts on motherhood in 'How it Feels' of 1996. This provides the sugar coating to the 'memorabilia' around it; her used tampons in particular (though shrivelled they are) saw many wrinkle their nose is disgust and disapproval (I chuckled again, obviously.)

Film - Why I never became a dancer
The films cover themes of tragedy and comedy, (see above, 'Why I never became a dancer' of 1995, shows her free-spirited dance after recalling being rejected for dancing. The music in her low-tech videos play a key part.

Wild, public drunkard though she may be (or was now, I believe Emin has shed her skin) Tracey Emin does heavily consider what people think of her (yes, SHOCK-HORROR), although most of the time it appears she does not take herself seriously. She is, vulnerable and longing and motherly; something I discovered in her section on abortion. She's not what we all thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment