If it's wind you're after, few can hold a candle to Tracey Emin - apart from her admirers. Clarissa N. Terranova breaks new ground in Pollyanna-ish willingness to see the only the good :
Brit artist Tracey Emin is a woman’s woman. She cuts a clear path through the bush — the weeds of yesterday’s feminism, the “ism” without which we’d be nowhere.
Emin doesn’t wax philosophical about being a woman. She doesn’t really provide a direction toward a new space of gendered emancipation. Rather it’s that she lives that freedom in her skin in the now — the time of the present. Tawny, pretty and sweet, Emin recasts the feminine according to a new ideal, one so persuasive and charming that a smile was my response to her declaration that “taking a real big shit” would make her headache go away.
She's taking the p***, that's for sure.
Having made installations like My Bed (1998), last night’s pleasures and sorrows registered in her rumple-sheeted bed, surrounded by dirty panties, empty bottles and cigarette butts, and To Meet My Past (2002), a four-poster clad with bedding bearing embroidered poetry, she is an expert of the bed. So it made sense that, addled by a migraine and jet lag, Tracey Emin lay in bed in a room at the Dallas Ritz-Carlton as we spoke.
It makes sense if you really want it to. Have faith.
[Emin darts to the bathroom to vomit and returns.]
CT: Are you okay?
TE: Yes, I just have jet lag and a headache. It hurts right here [pressing on her eyebrow above her left eye].
CT: I think you have a migraine.
TE: It feels better when I vomit. And, you know what, when I have a headache like this, it feels really good to take a really big shit. There’s something about relieving the pressure.
CT: I get migraines too. I know vomiting helps, but shitting hasn’t done the trick for me. Let’s talk about Dallas. Have you been here before?
TE: No. It’s my first time.
CT: Do you know what’s going on here currently? There’s an explosion in the art world — lots of good contemporary art in all kinds of new media are being collected and shown, and amazingly important buildings are going up.
TE: Dallas is great. I am glad to be here, because now I’ve been in the place that was the basis for the TV show Dallas, and I know it’s a lot different.
Hmm. If I didn't have faith, I'd say that observation was a little bit trite. But Emin speaks to us not in the ordinary way, but through her art:
It's tempting to subvert this by writing STET next to the crossings out.
But no, I must have faith.
STET has no place here. Faultless, yet fawlty, this piece is called "I know, I know, I know". Yet the deletion is at odds with the title. Cognitive dissonance ensues, but that, surely, is the point of the discourse. Thrice known, but modesty makes her say it only twice. She knows, you know. She knows.
So do we.