In my mind, I go back to the times when I was 15 and didn’t know about Emin’s existence. Then I move three years ahead. I’ve heard something little about her, but it still didn’t grab my attention enough to care. The biggest irony of it all is that three years later, she and her oeuvre became the subject of my dissertation. And the reason why it happened is that I fell in love with her story, the way she handled it and expressed it, that she turned the evil things that happened to her in the life to the source of inspiration. And even though she is hated by many, she is also loved by many. Especially for her sense of humour, straightforwardness, talent and crazy ideas.
My research consisted of endless reading, scrolling through her works, looking at her sketchbooks, reading her poems and trying to understand her.
Her art is spontaneous, impassioned and puissant. Using her personal trauma and an extremely painful period from her youth (as she was raped at the age of thirteen) to reinterpret remarkably personal experiences, helps to hit the right note so the viewer can easily empathise with candidness in her works.
With her, even autobiographical art can be represented by something so cold, impersonal and general, such as marketing tool. To be more precise, not autobiographical, but confessional art, which is drawing from personal and painful experiences, as Emin’s undoubtedly are. The entire career of Tracey Emin, as you are flipping through the pages, is illuminated by her small neon sketches and words linked together to create a phrase, the poems.
Misspelt words, being vulgar, cross-outs, handwriting which cannot be easily deciphered, British street slang and many other things make her works hers. Emin’s unique approach to telling the story is intensified by the use of handwriting as if it is crying out loud. Gary Indiana sees the power behind her process and thinks she is able to show us through a few cropped sentences how it felt being raped, how it is to be an outsider, that a small treachery may affect the whole child’s world, and some wishes should rather stay unfulfilled…
Articles which I’ve read about Tracey:
Emin’s video work, artist talks, interviews I’ve watched:
And for now, she is staying one of my biggest inspirations.
More information about artist: http://www.traceyeminstudio.com/
♀ ⚢ ⚣ ⚤♂