MY CUNT IS WET WITH FEAR
That is what was scrawled in somewhat glowing letters in one of Tracey Emin’s art exhibitions. She is almost thirty now and after an almost willingly traumatic
existence, she has settled down with fellow artist Mat Collishaw
. Now that she is ‘happy’, critics are wondering whether she can retain her edge
. These same critics have accused her of narcissism
, but others admire her for, literally, putting her trash
She delivers exceedingly confessional art, dubbed neurotic, in a creepily bold manner that somehow becomes unquestionably humorous. Her work is very gimmicky and maudlin; it is very, very transformative, she has shared everything with us in her art, from an actual piece of her own aborted foetus, down to dirty panties, pregnancy tests, and used tampons. She was awarded for this with a place on the short list for the esteemed Turner Prize in 1999.
Her piece entitled "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995" consists of a mattress inside a tent. Appliquéd against the florid background of the tent are the names of all her past lovers. The tent is illuminated by a light, giving it the feel of a shrine.
The reason she smears such raw, painful material in our faces is that she “really cannot carry on living with all that stuff stuck inside her". She is about to embark on a series of autobiographical short stories. These will retell for the trillionth time, her childhood tragedies including the abusive stepfathers, her rape at thirteen years old, her many many teenage sexual partners, the bond she shares with her twin brother, her abortion, and an assortment of influential degradations.
She says that from around age eight, she never wanted to give birth to a child because she never wanted to leave a part of herself, blood and genes, behind when she died. She didn’t think there was anything worth leaving, in her usual expressively self-loathing manner. However, she is also a huge egomaniac, so when we witness the alternation between the two, that is when we feel the true Emin essence, that is what makes her work more compassionate than painful childish rubbish.