So our Trace isn’t very happy about the ‘Public Sniggering’ at the loss of art in the recent blaze at Momart, infact she is outraged.
Speaking yesterday, Emin said: “What has really upset me isnâ€™t the loss of the work, it is the reaction by the British public. â€˜Good riddance to bad artâ€™, the general public sniggering on an audience like [BBC Radio 4â€™s]Any Questions.”
“I am not saying they have to understand it. What I am saying is donâ€™t laugh at it when it all burns down in a fire. That is just not fair and it is not funny. It is not polite and it is bad manners. I would never laugh at a disaster like that.”
However I am sure the public would be much more upset if the artists didn’t have certain attitudes towards their own work. Attitudes that seem to be saying to the audience, ‘fuck you’. The nature of most modern British art is one of self-negation, destruction and throw away. Is it any wonder that when the art is literally thrown away the British public (with somewhat a penchant for irony) find the result a little funny?
Emin was once was quoted as saying “The other day I hated my art so much I wanted to smash it, like you abuse a faithful lover.”?
Also ‘I need art like I need God’. I am not sure of Emin’s religious beliefs, but this ambiguous quote seems to suggest both that she needs art and does not need art, depending on the audiences religious viewpoint.
Yet â€œFor years, I made religious artâ€, Emin declares â€œThen I destroyed it, I did, like, a thousand drawings of Jesus being crucified; I was very interested in Mary Magdalene, I did drawings of her at His feet; I did the Wedding Feast at Cana, and John the Baptistâ€™s hand – just his hand. And I did lots of Depositionsâ€.
So it appears she is somewhat religious but at the same time destroys the art associated with it. Hmmm, again an almost paradoxical quote. She herself seems to be obsessed with the destruction of her own work, and indeed the destruction of the idea behind it.
I may be wrong but it seems to me that the meaning is not lost on the British public, infact I think they get the concepts extremely well, possibly better than Emin?
Anyway, maybe we are all philistines in this country, maybe we are not, maybe we just find the idea that self-destructive work has been destroyed by matters out of the artist’s hands just a little funny.
So, lets us finish here with a quote from Emin:
“I do not believe that at this moment in time, if that changes in years to come I don’t know, but what happens here today and changes as we go along that is part of life’s learning and part of your inner beliefs.”
Clear things up for you?