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Unit 3

Tracey Emin 
Sexual identity 
Her work can be understood as belongings to the ethos of third-wave feminism; a belief that a woman can define her sexuality on her own terms. The lack of symbology in Emin's work forces audiences to focus on the real and often taboo aspects of feminity trough modern women's issues, such as menstuation, abortion, promiscuity, and the shame associated with these topics. I am in opposite use symbols as hidden natural instinct of a beast. She has carved her own place and continues to produce artwork with her signature strong, yet vulnerable edge. Emin continues to be active in her art practice, and the basis of her work remains tied to physical identity through corporeal and spiritual anguish. She is an active participant in her artwork, and through this she pends an openness and vulnerability to her audience through universal emotion. As Trasey Amin I reject discussion of the feminist authority in my work, and yet I engage directly with modern female identity. Art allows the violation of social norms, and in turn a way for viewers to enter into sharing the human social condition - often in a controlled environment.

Emin’s work addresses the human condition in a way that is personal but also accessible to a broad audience. Whether her works is in video, neon, or needlework, she uses the medium appropriate to her message and communicates in a direct and unambiguous way. This quality in her works gives the viewer access to layers of narrative and meaning that are both intimate and universal.

Installation view of Tracey Emin’s exhibition I Need Art Like I Need God at the South London Gallery, 1997

Captivating Art 

The philosophy of Hans Jaeger (1854-1910), the controversial leader of the so-called Kristiania bohemians.Jaeger believed that private experience was the key to creating art of relevance and quality, and he encouraged artists to "write their live". Nietzsche had written "God is dead". With these words he provided the motto for the new,secular conception of reality that was just beginning to emerge. I order to cope with this reality, Nietzsche believed the human individual needed to reinvent himself and take personal responsibility for his deeds.

"Personal responsibility or Duty" 
"I do write my personal life" 
"I build myself with art" 
"I need art as I need God" 
"Art is a personal selective sieve" 
"Art is a selective sieve of my personal deeds"
"Art as a confession" 
"Art helps me to understand myself from my dark sides, makes them lighter.""
"Art does not bear lie."

"Art is a mirror of a soul" 
"Art is a mirror of a soul, frequently, doesn't blameless..."

My practice can be called as the "Captivating Art".
"Art is mirror of a soul, frequently, doesn't blameless". Art in my practice is a tool to write my live, allowing myself to be alive. Way to talk from my own body being expressed through imperfectness of the soul or being the human who takes personal responsibility for deeds. Other words, being a woman and using sexuality as a voice. 
Munch's manifesto for a Captivating Art, 1889 Munch was intrigued by the growing tension between the individual and society as a whole that resulted from modern urban life. The private experience of the artist as subject was increasingly being treated as raw material for exploring and understanding the human condition within this more secular and complex reality. Accordingly, the personal losses that Munch had experienced became an opportunity to express something universal about the pain and isolation people were feeling in the modern world. His pictures from this period can be understood as recollections: "I do not paint what I see, but what I saw", his writes in his manifesto from 1889. 

References Tracey Emin, Edward Munch, article from a book "Sexuality & Commication in everyday life"  and personal reflections through process in fragments of paintings. 

"I need Art like I need God"

In Saint - Cloud in 1889, Munch wrote that people would turn to his new and captivating
 art in search of solace, and that in its presence they would doff their hats as they would in a church. With this statement, it appears that Munch had already foreseen the way in which the realm of art would, in some respects, usurp the role of the church as spiritual guide to the secular society that was then emerging. In a handwritten text that Emin contributed to a group exhibition on religious art in 2002, she too explores the potential of art as consolation. The text describes a trip to visit her mother in Margate in 1993, at a time of loneliness and depression. On the train she finds a cheap camera, which she takes with her down to the beach. There she begins taking photographs, and her depression slowly lifts. "Alone with no one. I still Felt I was part of Something - Something a million, Billion times bigger than me, but Something so incredible. Nature - And With this Feeling I wrote in chalk, The words, I need Art Like I need God. And looking up to the sky I Thought, what a great title For a Show - From one moment in my Life - of having nothing I suddenly - knew that I had so much to do."Here Emin articulates the idea that art and creative power can serve as a substitute for, or even as a sublimation of, the spiritual, thus justifying their existence and giving them a role in our lives similar to the concept of God.

Tracey Emin "Loneliness of the soul" 

Critical reflections according to this text in relation to my practice.
Experiencing art is a therapy. Art is always reflections, visual expressions, and a critical view of my personality and feelings. Art helps me to realize who I am to accept my sexuality as a power and energy as art itself. Every day, the art process leads me to investigate fears meeting them face to face. Sometimes it's trapping me, but it is only one way that helps me find light, not giving up, finding strength, and keep going. In overall, my art practice through the process can be reviewed as a way to God. 


"Loneliness of the Soul"
Tracey Emin talks about similarities and deep engagement to Edward Munch Art. She describes Munch's work as painful and about real feelings such pain.

Louis Bourgeois


"Each cell deals with fear. Fear is pain... each cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at." 

The cells attract or repel each other, and create an urgent need in the visitor to combine, merge or disintegrate the pieces. 

Referring to Louis Bourgeois's statement Cells was directed by a desire for a particular physical confrontation. In my practice, traps are physical confrontation among chaos and stability, duty, and desire. I consider cells in my practice as traps. Loise Bourgeois built cells like prisons where she embedded her memories, life, sufferings, fears, weakness, and anger.

Louis Bourgeois .jpg

Louise Bourgeois Cells 

Pipilotti Rist Interview: Freeing the Wonderlight 

Pipilotti Rist produces multi-projector video installations that fuse the corporeal and the spiritual in what have been called near-psychedelic experiences. Her rich vocabulary of sensual experience contrasts the familiar with the strange, teasing out our secret desires. Rist attempts to break down the barriers between public and private space, creating fantastic, pleasure-palace domestic interiors that include video, music, light effects, and furniture. “The idea,” she explains, “is that now we’ve explored the whole geographical world, pictures or films are the new, unexplored spaces into which we can escape.” She destroys boundaries and definitions. She shows the world with her eyes. She talks about everyday life from the inner body and secret desires. 

Playboy logo 

The Playboy bunny rabbit logo has a far deeper penetration than it did when it was just associated with a men’s lifestyle magazine. And like any good bunny, the logo jumps around and gets in your face which keeps it active and alive even if you are not a reader of the magazine that launched the logo in the first place.

In fact, the rabbit bunny logo is so powerful a marketing tool that merchandise that bears it has created a stable revenue stream for the company.

The Playboy logo remains the same from the first time it was used in January 1954, although it was not originally recognised as the official Playboy logo until sometime later. The stylised rabbit head with a bow tie and collar appears in solid black. The thought behind this colour choice is that black conveys luxury, class and professionalism.



Meaning of rabbits in diverse subcultures and fairytales, cartoons and advertisements in 20th and 21st centuries.


Cosideration of a Bunny according to Jeff's Koons "Rabbit"

The ‘Rabbit’ fits in neatly with Koons’ larger-than-life portfolio. The stainless-steel sculpture is infused with contrasts. By nature, it should appear cute and cuddly, yet its steel exterior smears it with a sinister and icy identity. The opposition between what it represents and what it actually is may be viewed as a reflection of the artifice inherent in our society, where the actuality of an image is skewed from it purpose. This phenomenon is ubiquitous, pervasive, present even in the seemingly innocent Instagram photo which, infiltrated by capitalist intent, now is surrounded by brand deals and advertisements.
The reflective surface of the ‘Rabbit’ means that as we view the sculpture we simultaneously view ourselves. It is, literally, a reflection of our own society.  The ‘Rabbit’ becomes a statement of the deception present in society, acting as a social commentary and critique of our mainstream culture and its focus on the image.

Critics in 1986 saw the ‘Rabbit’ as embodying the spirit of the time. America in the 80s was defined by exaggeration. Big hair, heavy shoulder pads and gaudy colours served as a mirror image to Koons’ work. Life and art were simultaneous in their replication of one another. And this imitation of life is just as pertinent now in the case of the ‘Rabbit’ as it was in the 80s.

Jeff Koons "Rabbit"

Reflection on Jeff Koons "Rabbit"
The reflective surface of the rabbits as we view the sculpture, we simultaneously see ourselves. This meaning is close to my idea behind the rabbit. I consider a symbolic of the rabbit more from my own identity, personality, and me as a human being with no gendering. I am emphasizing this as an alter ego or an animal part of the human race. Overall, I am focusing more on the reproduction function of rabbits on an obsession to produce something: art, trash, or love, thoughts, energy and ideas, and so on. It's a parallel with consumerism, an endless circle of life, and time which is trapping us into the constantly repetitive process of working, doing something useless just for comfortable existence until a line of life is cutting off. Although, things change if the process in time as layers which are covering each other are a part of awareness itself deeper inside. So, that means that in comparison with Koon's "Bunny", I am considering The Bunny as the process and time, confusion, and sexual energy which is charging to look for your voice and identity in the world full of traps and cells. 

Unit 2

Cells in my practice and how I express them visually. 

Today I would like to talk about cells in my practice. The first time when I caught myself that I draw cells or film spaces which remind diverse of barriers. I did not realise why I have been doing this but now when I looked at these materials through time I thought about it seriously. I am talking a lot about sexuality and fears and I do believe that the range of these facts impacts on one each other from my personal experience. For me cells is not the same as a cage it is more about an asylum where you feel secure. Although this security might be very misleading in fact that a man always tends to hide from reality or from an inner voice and make a decision for the benefit of logical and ethical aspect. On the other hand, the cell can be a place of own security like a human body can be considered as a chamber of secrets. 
Interesting, that the cage might have variety of reverse meanings such as feelings of fragility, defencelessness, loneliness or isolation although in parallel this place of meditation, focused on deep understanding and reflection of oneself through array of practice: learning, creation, silence, listening and so on.  
I was really hooked of Louise Bourgeois thoughts about cells: 

"Each cell deals with a fear. Fear is pain... each cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at."
I consider this sentence from the side of sensual context and desire to get out from the cage although at the same time because of personal fears and social attitudes. The cell keeps a man inside what might force him to find ways for expressing pain through the anger, varieties of violence or cultivation of sexual energy and expression it in a way of constructive or creative reflections. I like an idea to be seen by someone it is also about pleasure and sex. I see something perverse in this, also, through those expressions a human being shows the real face of oneself with desires, fantasies and strength to control emotions but at the same time to be brave enough showing personal imperfection.

Louise Bourgeois "The Cell"

Film "Peels a Tangerine" 

Secrets Knowledge Tracey Emin - Louise Bourgeois 

I am continuing to speculate about power, sexual power and what the erotic is and how I understand and feel this as a woman so that what kind of  tools and metaphorical images I use for expression this topic through my practice. I was really hooked by a book of Audre Lorde " The Erotic As Power" . I find that this essay is very accurate for expressing my own feelings and personal experience about  sex and women's sexuality and why this question has such controversial context and meaning. 
"THERE ARE MANY kinds of power, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise. The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling."
"In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives. We have been taught to suspect this resource, vilified, abused, and devalued within western society. On the one hand, the superficially erotic has been encouraged as a sign of female inferiority; on the other hand, women have been made to suffer and to feel both contemptible and suspect by virtue of its existence. It is a short step from there to the false belief that only by the suppression of the erotic within our lives and consciousness can women be truly strong. But that strength is illusory, for it is fashioned within the context of male models of power."

The connection between Audre Laurde and my art is that expression and resource which I choose for my way of speaking through anger to discharge sexual energy it's always a way to say something, to react on events, to express myself through my art at this moment, at this place. The reason why I am using diverse media in my practice is also, the way to adapt to a current situation and catch a moment of happening at the second, to catch the importance, sensuality, vulnerability and uniqueness of the reality in engagement with me at this second. She writes about ways how erotic can work like a way how a body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms. Basically, to rely on my reflections art is a way to see things and feel them on a deeper level, to notice the tiniest vibration of life around, to move with nature, to express myself as an animal through paintings, dance or yoga. 

That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.

That sense seems interesting to me for consideration from the side of cells in my practice. Cells might be a projection of responsibility or a grave of responsibility within our lives. On the other hand, our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinise all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. 



“Wild rabbits thrived in many new locations, and populations grew rapidly in countries with suitable habitat and few natural predators. The European rabbit became widespread in North America and Australia, for example, where the wild rabbit has become a troublesome pest to farmers and conservationists.


Wild rabbits are said to have been first domesticated in the 5th Century by the monks of the Champagne Region in France. Monks were almost certainly the first to keep rabbits in cages as a readily available food source, and the first to experiment with selective breeding for traits such as weight or fur colour. Rabbits were introduced to Britain during the 12th Century, and during the Middle Ages, the breeding and farming of rabbits for meat and fur became widespread throughout Europe. Sources suggest that some women among the Medieval gentry even kept rabbits as pets. “


What rabbits mean particularly in my practice?


Hares and rabbits The symbolic meaning of these fluffy creatures can be surprisingly complex. 

Hares are often associated with birth and resurrection. They are born, live and die within a short time, in line with the seasons, making them an ideal visual nod to the theme of mortality in art. 

Their rapid breeding rate also implies fertility and sensuality, yet as a prey animal, rabbits simultaneously indicate innocence and love.


The ambiguous nature of the rabbit may be traced back to Judaism’s attitude towards the mammals. They chew the cud, yet do not have a divided hoof, but were later thought of as a symbol of the Diaspora.


Rabbits as a symbol of the Diaspora. 


For me it’s a kind of necessity of belonging to a cultural group, a tribe, a family or religion like a solid social chain which gives a feeling of stability and illusory (assumptive) order. Also, Diaspora may impacts on a personal development of a man forming his Identity through the point of view on life, his behaviour, habits and traditions. 


Rabbits grow rapidly in areas with suitable habitat and few natural predators like a bacteria. 


Rapid reproduction rate, and the increasing cultivation of land providing ideal habitat, rabbits soon establishing large populations in the wild. 


Rabbits in cages as a readily available food source, and the first to experiment with selective breeding for traits such as weight or fur colour. 


Rabbits remind us of our vulnerability and push us to find the strength within ourselves.




Rabbits have paradoxically been used as both symbols of sexuality and virginal purity. They have been a sex symbol since antiquity. In ancient Rome rabbits were frequently depicted as the animal of Venus. Conversely the rabbit was used by artists of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as a symbol of sexual purity and was often depicted alongside the Madonna and Child. In the above work by Millais it could refer to either – or cleverly allude to both.



And right right here a bit is had by us of the contradiction growing. From the one hand, rabbits had been associated with intimate freedom as well as an insatiable intimate appetite but having said that, these people were additionally related to purity and virginity. This complexity would prevail throughout nearly all of western depictions—painting the bunny as being a pious motherly figure while simultaneously utilizing it often to indicate sexual interest

renessamnce rabbit.jpg

Albtecht Durer "Young Hare"

Ridolfo Ghirlandaio,
Portrait of a Lady with a Rabbit

Sex and social controlSexuality does not merely reflect but is fundamental to the construction and maintenance of power relations between women and men. This is not to deny either the importance of other dimensions of the social relations of the sexes, or the complex relationships between women's oppression and other oppressions, particularly race and class. I have concentrated on sexuality partly from the side of an oppression of women of all races and class which is dominated and controlled through sexuality, both directly, by means of rape and other forms of overt sexual coercion, by being taught to experience the sexual colonization of our bodies as sexual pleasure. Sexual Liberation or women's liberation  What counts as sexual pleasure, who defines it, who has the power to ensure that certain definitions prevail? Unless we explore these and many other related questions we may find ourselves in the position of asserting a "right" to something that is not in our interests as women struggling to end male supremacy. One way of examining the concept of sexual pleasure, and the broader conceptions of sexuality in which it is embedded, is to look at their development historically, and at the relationship between ideas about sex and the socio-political context in which they take root.