ARTICLE: Tracey Emin, 1984, and the Cult of Celebrity

Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' To Be Auctioned At Christie's

Tracey Emin with her “art”

WESTERN FREE PRESS: My latest article on the corruption and manipulations at the heart of our cultural industry, and examination of the possible motivations. Supporting observations provided by George Orwell.

“Tracey Emin is little known in America, outside of artsy circles. I get the impression it’s different in England, where she’s more of a tabloid figure, notoriously milking the old shock-the-bourgeoisie poses so dear to the moneyed culture elites. My Bed is simply a collection of Emin’s dirty linens and assorted refuse moved from her home into a museum, and proclaimed to be cutting edge art. This gesture was what first got her noticed as an art world player.

“My Bed can be seen as emblematic of the non-art favored by pretentious metropolitans these days, an unskilled accumulation of dingy objects supposedly transmuted into art by the alchemy of dislocation. In a home the collection of soiled belongings would just be low grade squalor. Move them into a gallery or museum, and the theory is the new context should apparently spark some amazing mental gymnastics of Questioning and Challenging and Transgressing. It’s a pathetic substitute for artistic achievement, but it’s about all the current ersatz-intelligentsia can offer up…

“The phenomena of a Tracey Emin is a codification of the worst traits in contemporary society: plutocratic influence hawking a type of nihilism, all tarted up with tawdry narcissism and brazen incompetence.”

Clink on the link to read the whole thing.


12 thoughts on “ARTICLE: Tracey Emin, 1984, and the Cult of Celebrity

  1. Fantastic article! It’s like a joy jolt after a day painting in the basement. Teach the world about Stuckism. It is now and the future. By the way, do you read Henry Miller, mostly the stuff after the Tropics?

  2. Reblogged this on Joanna K Neilson and commented:
    Whilst I can see some interesting things about the YBA (not so young anymore…), this also makes some very valid points about the doublethink required to appreciate them…and whether it”s finally had its time, Very interesting article on the state of art today.

  3. Mindblowing article so many yesses and resonances with my own thinking. Really well reasoned out and written. And it pinpoints why I refuse to exhibit within that art world context – any concept of quality or integrity has been compromised if not corrupted.Why would I want to put my energy into upholding that system?

    We need more voices proclaiming that the Emperor indeed has no clothes. In David Gauntlett’s excellent book, ‘Making is connecting’, he speaks about how the rise of individual creativity on the internet and off is challenging the ‘sit back and be told’ society, and threatening to replace it with the ‘do it ourselves’ society.

    You are right, artists like this woman reflect the sickness in society, certainly in the upper echelons. But let’s not forget the myriads of edgy, marginal art expressions which are directly or indirectly addressing some of these imbalances. Globally, artists are using their creativity for healing in one way or anther- reconstructing animal habitats, re-greening urban areas, bringing art into hospitals, prisons, schools to revitalize them. It has been going on for decades and is finally becoming visible. Artists instinctively go to the area of imbalance and correct it by inventing something new. This is happening on a huge scale, one tiny initiative at a time.

  4. Maybe it’s not so much art as it is literature outside of a book. 3-D storytelling. A story to explain the significance of the assemblage. A character in the persona of an art celebrity. Is this really all a new way of writing fiction?

  5. No, not a way to tell a story. A way to undermine the ideal of human achievement and transcendence; a toxic effort. I’m so sick of the feeble approximations the art world is willing to celebrate as art. Maybe some are willing to eat the diet of shit they try to feed us, but I’m not having it.

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