Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Artist Tracey Emin speaks about her latest exhibition

I posted this interview in response to this heinous VICE article that was circulating facebook today, called I'M SICK OF PRETENDING: I DON'T "GET" ART. Link

I’ve grown tired of the bombastic, meaningless hyperbole that is circulated on the web by people who are too addled by technologically induced ADHD to finish reading a single sentence, and yet are the first to denigrate things they not only do not understand, but ideas that they haven’t even attempted to consider. 

David Foster Wallace likened irony to a cage that the enslaved don’t want to leave, which I have to agree with. Even in using the ironic quotation marks around “get” in the title, the author is begging approval from his smug, self-congratulatory fan base. It’s much more difficult to attempt to understand an idea or point of view than to disparagingly dismiss and tear apart someone else’s efforts.

Tracey Emin is a continual source of inspiration to me. I appreciate that her art practice has always been in opposition to the societal expectations of “just how a little lady” should behave. She is one of the only YBA’s to still be making art that is not only still relevant more than two decades later but who is creating very human and deeply moving art. Within her work there has always been an earnest attempt to bridge the gap between the life that’s lived and the antiseptic institution of the white cube. Despite this sincere effort there is still an honest awareness of the limitations of what can be communicated through a visual language. The overwhelming popularity of Emin is not merely a result of the artist shocking her audience. There are innumerable artists who attempt to shock but get little if no recognition whatsoever, since shock without wit or intelligence fails to captivate any audience. Admittedly, some of her bodies of work have been more successful than others, but what artist isn't that true of?  During the past twenty years, Emin has vacillated between using humor and anger, along with bravely exposing her wounds  to create a body of work that has often managed to transcend the confines and pretentiousness of culture, through its ability to paradoxically reveal both the strengths and vulnerabilities of being alive.

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