"Tracey Emin's My Bed as Creative Space" by Kelsey Kresse

 

"Tracey Emin's My Bed as Creative Space" by Kelsey Kresse

In the almost two decades since Tracey Emin premiered My Bed, it has largely been interpreted as being purely autobiographical (as has most of her work) and simply part of her “bad sex aesthetic.” This paper contends that upon closer examination, Emin’s work is more than bad sex and dirty sheets but can bee seen as a creative space for both Emin and other artists. If Emin’s piece can be seen as a center of creativity then it shows promising connections to the true creative space that is never part of the visual representations of Ovid’s Pygmalion Myth, the bed itself. Although the Ovid text clearly places the moment of Galatea’s transformation in Pygmalion’s bed, subsequent representations of the myth in Western art are almost exclusively set in his studio. I argue that Emin’s 1998 installation piece can be read as the physical incarnation of the essential element of the myth omitted by most artists. The bed is the center of creation for both Emin and Pygmalion. The resulting comparison of Emin’s work and the Ovid narrative produces compelling and powerful consequences that cannot be ignored. 

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Categories: 
  • HAAARCH!!! 2014
  • Undergraduate Work