MY BED, TRACEY EMIN, 1998

Tracy Emin was a photographer before coming up with this installation.

She suffered from a deep depression after a a hard break up, and found herself staying in bed for a whole month. Then she realized that she could display that same bed as a work of art, showing how all of us are on the same level and can have the same problems.

It doesn’t matter how famous, how popular, or how rich everyone can be, what matters is how much we can suffer and how much we can help each other.

In that bed there is everything you can imagine: drugs, alcohol, blood from her period, food and so on. You can clearly see the mental devastation of the artist in those weeks, and it makes you confront your own feelings as well.

This work was sold for a lot of money recently (2,5 millions £!), validating the extreme power it comunicates.

#funfact: Two performance artists, Yuan Chai and Jian Jun Xi, jumped on the bed and slept there until they were removed by the police. Actually, Tracey Emin said that they had to be released because they gave a sense to her artwork: they shared an experienced with the artist, giving back to the bed its original function. This is the opposite thinking from Duchamp’s one, as he thought that an object can become a work of art only when it has no more its original function.

In the following posts we will talk also about the interpretation of what is art for different major artists. Stay tuned!

– M.C.

Bibliography and further readings:

EMIN Tracey, Strangeland, Sceptre, 2006

TOWNSEND Chris, MERCK Mandy, OSBORNE Peter, The art of Tracey Emin, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2002

FREEDMAN Carl, LUARD Honey, Tracey Emin, Rizzoli International Publications, 2006

 

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