Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tracey Emin, About Love

It started in Margate, an English seaside town where an adventurous adolescent lost her innocence. The ten minutes video Why I Never Became a Dancer, 1995, is a great introduction for Tracey Emin's first solo exhibition in the United States, focused on her neon work. Sixty pieces from the past twenty years fill the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami  where the wall sculptures provide the only light for the dark rooms.
The multimedia artist is known for her shocking works in which she exposes the most intimate moments of her life like in My Bed, 1998. It made her famous and a nominee for the Turner Prize. This time, the artist's  handwritten words or drawings glowing on the black walls like advertisements, bubble gum pink, acid green, icy white, red-light district red, turquoise or deep blue, a compilation of epigrams, immortalize fleeting states of emotions and reflections, all related to love.
Provocative "Is Anal Sex Legal" and "Is Legal Sex Anal ", 1998, poetic "I Listen To The Ocean And All I Hear Is You", 2011 or romantic "I followed you into the Water Knowing I would Never Return", 2011, with few words, Emin expresses the whole gamut of feelings generated by love. From crude to inspired, her message is  tormented "Those Who Suffer Love", 2009, "Its Not me Thats Crying its My Soul", 2011, "Every Part of Me's Bleeding", 1999...Low art is reaching new heights and one cannot stay indifferent when reading the messages and ask: Is love torture?
Emin's statements hit hard. One relates, participates, "feels" and the artist provokes empathy, pity,  revulsion, compassion, indignation... The rawness, the authenticity of her message touches us and we become embroiled in her relationships at the same level that we shed tears watching a movie.
The gathering of neon works creates a synergistic effect. The result is a powerful show.

Photograph by the author
"Angel Without You", 2013 at the MOCA, North Miami

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