1/2 Tracey Emin on Louise Bourgeois: Women Without Secrets – Secret Knowledge



in order to liberate myself from the past I have to be constructed ponder about it make a statue out of it and get rid of it through making sculpture um if I'm able to forget it afterwards I have paid my debt to the past and then liberated you was like Louise was holding hands with me and I think about the artist that Louise would have known these great historical figures Louise knew these people knew these artists I don't have much humility I'm not going to I'm not gonna pretend I do but in that situation I really did I felt like I was holding the baton of time in history and that Louise was like helping me through to the next stage of my life this could have done anything Louise could have been a doctor a scientist probably if she was a bit younger astronaut but she chose to do our she could master her material so well but it was a tiny piece of work on fabric a small delicate print all these giant monumental sculptures some of her bonuses and like colossal it was no doubt that a woman made that work and I think that's very inspiring and I think Louise is probably on the greatest artist and lost like two centuries when I look at Louise's work or when I talk about Louise's work I don't talk from a point of view of someone that's well read or I'm learning on a subject Louise Bourgeois for me I just have a natural response to the work and it's what I feel like when I look at it this is the first piece of work of Louise modules that I want to talk about a lot of people probably expect me to talk about that the Sohn works or the figurative works but this one in this exhibition and in Edinburgh is the one that really interests me is called paw which actually in French means waits the whole thing is can to leave it here you have all the weights which are really really really heavy and this is what retains the balance for the whole piece of work and here we have this sort of like spiky fragile kind of chandelier shape going up to the glass balls and of course this is very much like a kind of female figure with the breasts and almost like a kind of like womb like shape with it with the kind of eggs hanging onto it but the main thing is within this work you would think it's it's like the weights actually protecting all of this fragility and it's this balance thing of Louise Bourgeois work that really interests me everything she did was about balance what really I think is that you know these little things that you have on buildings to stop birds from landing that's what this reminds me of it's almost like something which could be quite harmful but yet protective of something and the eye at the top as well looking out no matter how simple it is to me I see a whole strong figurative element that is about balance and about sustaining something and I've heard that if you remove just one of these weights the whole thing could just fall and crash which would be horrific but that's what Louise was like that's what her work was about about sustaining a kind of fragile moment whether it was emotional whether it was intellect for me this whole exhibition this is a piece of work I very much like to have I've talked about the making of the world that you have Louise throughout the loss 30 years for life she would have liked these soirees these these tea parties and my gallery in New York had promised me a treat and I said what I really like is to meet Louise Bourgeois he's in an allergy yes Donita an explanation and you give me an analogy I went into the back parlor where Louise was sitting and the first thing that I talk about Louise was she had the most ginormous breasts and her hands on the table she had these really strong hands they were almost like him in Eagles talons or something a grand and she looked incredibly formidable and really strong and and of course I've seen photos of her but seeing her in real life was really almost like seeing an entity not a human being I want my work to speak for itself and what is it you wanted to express we have to know Soames exactly what you wanted it's about the torment of being an artist the door mate yeah but it's a joke he's not a tormentor to be an artist you have to do drainage is yogic this is your tea it is not a domain to be a nowadays it is a privilege this works triptych for the Red Room I haven't actually seen before until the other day I might have seen him in a book but I've never seen them for real when I first looked at them they kind of look sexual I knew they weren't sexual I knew it was more like a kind of not a repulsion but a kind of like joining of something and as you as you walk down and I she don't really know which order they go in but as I as I walk down them this this figure there can't have been twined and it kind of looks semi sexual but it's not what we're actually seeing is some kind of hysterical fear on the female figures form and here we have Louise's arch of hysteria and this also looks like a very surrealist kind of dreamlike unreal situation to these figures are kind of suspended away from each other and she's suspended within in time and they're not together and in this one which is really interested this is definitely a boy this is not a man this is a boy and then now you can really understand that it's the form of the mother and so with this is kind of like quite tricky subject matter that she's dealing with she's actually responding to how it feels to be a mother and maybe the repulsion of the child and wanting to distance herself from the child but yet you've got this thing which is completely joined as well and so close and bound up it's Louise dealing with like a kind of emotional psychotic reaction to something and trying to deal with it within her work spider for me was something romantic I could imagine people saying meet me underneath the spider let you go on this fantastic date and then they'd hear that idea of the spider like devouring you or getting caught up in its web I mean it is a mother and it's got the ache it's got a marble egg in there but this one's really like mechanical spider that's something else on Mad Max kind of film or something it's quite scary so this was like the really beautiful book that was made about the collaboration of Jay not abandoned me many different images but the main thing is the subject matter is male and female images and even though these look how sexual it's actually about this tiny female figure actually paying homage like to this giant male figure almost like a god I did the drawing over the top Louise did the watercolours I lost you this is about losing children losing life you know whether or not it's abortion miscarriages you know my grandmother told me this thing she said people in your life expect you know you kind of expect maybe your husband to die or your parents to die but you never expect to bury your children and Louise had to bury her son so I also think with Louise's subject of abandonment there was also not just about her mother abandon her but also her son leaving her to another world the interesting thing about the collaboration is that I could do whatever I liked but I thought the images of Louise's were so beautiful and so perfect I thought that I didn't need to do anything to them that's why it took me two years of deciding what to do and the day that I did work on them I did them all in one day and every single one worked out perfect as far as I was concerned but I had to be in this kind of zen-like state this one's really interesting most people when they see this one they can't tell whether it's what is me or what is Luiz and usually people say Luiz did the writing and I drew the figure but Atma secrets the other way around and that's really what I wanted as well I didn't want it to be I don't want anyone to be able to tell what was mine and what was Louise is I wanted the collaboration to look like one person one work but the simplicity of it just works brilliantly and when you think about the age gap and the difference between Louise and myself it really is incredible that it works so easily and so gently she turn into a wild beast right I don't say that I mean wild beast all the time but I mean wild be some of the time the frustration instead of turning into a running away muscular thing the frustration was a kind of stiffening like this and keeping the resentment inside and 25 years later I have not come to turn with my resentment which is there which is there forever right that's it now if you do not let me have the last word once in a while then everything goes all these drugs Gerry you work with Louise for 30 years from 1980 until she died almost every day you've probably knew her better than anybody you know for me she still remained a mystery to the very end I mean I was fascinated from the first my first encounter with her and you know just trying to figure out what makes this woman tick from the very first I was totally captured by her I liked the way she looked I like the way she styled herself I like the way that when she invited me to the house everything about her so this works could own give and take and it's actually your hands a cast of your hands but it's also light it's like the other work it actually is about this like a seesaw it's like a balance all her work has almost this duality of two things coexisting together sounds like a cliche but this idea of really of two things coexisting and it's sort of a balance how these two things coexist and it can tip one way or the other do you think for Louise that it was important that it was your hands pretty much everything in Louise is not general it's not the body it's her body it's the body of someone else I mean so she used me in a lot of pieces 10 a.m. which is about our relation

31 thoughts on “1/2 Tracey Emin on Louise Bourgeois: Women Without Secrets – Secret Knowledge”

  1. This is the only time the name "Tracy Emin" has been associated with good art! 😄 They only chose Emin for the documentary to make Bourgeois look less ugly!

  2. Poor Tracey. How wonderful she believes herself to be. Louise Bourgeois’s stuff looks like art school output from the seventies.

  3. all that torture
    Lighten up..It’s the art of deception
    Grovelling crap. She could have been an astronaut 😱

  4. Tracey… The eggs don't hang on to the womb.. they are in the ovaries which are not attached to the womb. I know its artistic expression but it loses expression (not gains it) when you mis -interpret it so grossly. Yes it is possible Bourgeois had no understanding of human anatomy but this would be awfully lazy given your description of her…ps collaborating on art kind of takes away from the whole purpose of creating art in the first place…

  5. The title at 12:45 is incorrect. While Bourgeois did have a retrospective at the MoMA in 1982, she was not the first woman artist to. Georgia O'Keeffe was the first woman artist to have a retrospective at the MoMa in 1946.

  6. To think that British art critics and museum curators practically spit on Jack Vettriano, yet how they always hail Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst as if they were the second coming of Georgia O'Keeffe and Francis Bacon is just absurd to me. I guess one can just blame Marcel Duchamp for all this and that other no-talent hack, Jeff Koons.

  7. See Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama at Sotheby's S2 on The Art Channel
    https://youtu.be/ZnJXFV-ZLj8

  8. Bourgeois and Emin are not in the same league, Emin has no mastery of materials, not even a rudimentary grasp

  9. the more famous an artist is in the public eye the less they seem to be in the eye of academic critics…but Eminently Tracey is a special case Tits, Terror & Tracey Emin's Role In The Objectification Of Women

  10. @misternylon Bourgeois would never have agreed to the collaboration if she didnt feel Emin was good enough, and Emin herself has never cared about 'the art world elite'. She has always challenged things within contemporary art and is not trying to adopt eloquence but trying to voice how powerful the work is. Pausing could mean it's hard to encompass feeling through words. 'art world elite', stop trying to make art an exclusive club. She is an incredibly important female artist. 

  11. Why is this goon Tracey Emin trying to adopt some sort of eloquence and improved manner of speaking? She clearly is struggling to find the words with which she will feel accepted by the art world elite, the pretentious art babble of yesteryear that has long run its course. Sorry but No Tracey you are not holding the baton of time and do not place yourself in the league of Louise Bourgeois, it is arrogant and deeply offensive.

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