Tracey Emin's art work is something that has fascinated me for a while now and the interest accelerated within my revision for my 'art since 1900' exam recently. Though she has long been misunderstood, I fully recommend her book 'Strangeland' for new time explorers of Emin's work for this is an introduction into her mind on a level which does not involve aesthetics but reaches the reader in a more reflective and contemplative state. Wording, by nature, sinks more slowly into our systems which allows the initial shock to wear off and a more rational view to reach our sensibility. This is a state which is often impossible within art, and things like music, which have immediate effects capturing our senses instantly.
'I want to sleep and wake with my skin taut. I want to feel cum on my face. I want to laugh with my eyes open. I want to sleep with my eyes closed.'
This line is particularly poignant because of the vulnerability that is fused with the maturity that comes with the possession of sexual ownership. 'To laugh with eyes open. To sleep with eyes closed.' These two activities seem like such natural human conditions to the average being, such obscure things to long for and such powerful wishes to be made. There is indeed a powerful sense of longing within these words and a profundity as they hang in the air, these lines really hit me in a way that was not quite expected.
'To laugh with eyes open'; to feel normal, to see joy reflected back at you, to be aware of the others who stare back at you, interacting and perpetuating your own self happiness, to not hide away from this condition of laughter, to be unafraid.
'To sleep with eyes closed'; in life we spend much of our time with eyes closed, we sleep with our eyes closed lowering the barriers to our subconscious in which we live the fantasies that are not attainable within our reality. We also spend much of our waking time with our eyes shut unknowing of the world that is flourishing around us becoming sometimes swallowed in the magnitude of different pressures that may encompass our lives.