Wednesday, 17 June 2009

All about Tracey

I shirked all responsibility and spent the morning having tea with author friend B. at the Wolseley.  After a catch up, we wandered over to see the Tracey Emin exhibition at White Cube.  Seeing an Emin show is a challenging thing, as there are so many preconceptions and opinions regarding the work before laying eyes on it.  The cultural era of "Hello, let me tell you a little bit about myself" hit a high note in the 90's, and, Tracey rode that wagon in a zesty tabloid kind of way.  Madonna is also a product of the "Me" cultural marketing that incorporated sex and girl stuff.  But she is more pleased with her sexual self.  On the other hand, Tracey has always asked for a bit of pity whilst she flirts.

But back to the exhibition.  The work on offer features some bad poetry lit in neon that no matter whether straight from the heart, or contrived, is bad poetry.  Several very good pieces stitched on blankets with small baby blanket patches hang under glass frames.  They are pretty great in a formal sense, and, make sense for Tracey in a conceptual sense.  There are a lot of drawings featuring female masturbation.  Which, as far as drawings go, are quite alluring as she has a good hand - for drawing I mean.  Confessional notebooks with a raw quality sketching unfinished thoughts are clustered together.

All good.  What churns and turns the work wrong is the let-me-tell-you-a-little-about-myselfness of it.  It is such a self-focused enterprise, begging for pity and love, like the Big Issue selling-lady with a baby that I saw at 10pm the other night.  That sounds cold, but, I am uncomfortable when I feel I am being manipulated. Surely the Big Issue can be sold during better hours to accommodate baby?  

I can't find a reason to love Tracey, as she does not really converse with me.  But I am not an emotionally driven person.  I do think she has a lovely way of translation, and, her drawings have a powerful sway.  But, I would like to hear about something other than herself.

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