ARTYFACTS: Tracy Emin's detritus

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tracy Emin's detritus

I walked in with an open mind and walked out with it firmly closed. Let’s start in the foyer, where the same image that appears on the posters, of Emin’s naked bottom half in black pants, states from the start, that she’s a promising narcissist or exhibitionist. Once inside the tedium of endless polaroids, letters and the general detritus is wearying. Only the sturdiest student of skank could spend a lot of time here.

I was also surprised at her very middle class upbringing. She couldn’t hide the images of her parent’s hotel, the e-type Jaguar and so on. This is really a posh kid slumming it. Nothing intrinsically wrong in that, but it’s presented as some sort of heroic (some like to use the word vulnerable – I don’t) take on life. This is an attempt at art as biography but, as a life, it’s not that interesting. The bed just deadened my spirit, the children’s shoes in a box were trite, and the blankets with their sloppy schoolgirl slogans, made my eyelids limp with boredom.


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