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Tracey Emin, the Tate and an invisible Christmas tree (IT'S THE ARTS ALERT)
The Times ^ | December 12, 2002 | Dalya Alberge and Alan Hamilton

Posted on 12/11/2002 4:35:19 PM PST by MadIvan

YOU commission Tracey Emin to create the Tate’s Christmas tree, and what do you get? Well, you certainly don’t get a tree; you get an empty space. It’s art, my dear.

Emin, famous for her messy bed, was asked to provide the seasonal decoration for the rotunda at Tate Britain on Millbank. She ordered a tree all right, a real one, but she sent it to Lighthouse West London, an HIV and Aids charity.

From tomorrow, visitors to the Tate will find, instead of a festive fir, an Emin canvas with a message inviting them to leave their name and address, and a donation to Lighthouse. She will draw a name from a hat next year, and the winning donor will receive an original Emin artwork. It might be worth having: her works sell for up to £95,000.

The Tate yesterday strenuously denied any suggestion of disappointment at its lack of a real tree and suggested that, had Emin provided them with a standard Norway spruce, complete with needles, lights and fairy, it would have belied a serious lack of imagination on the part of one of our cutting-edge artists.

“We don’t expect a normal tree,” a spokesman said. “We know that artists will create a different take on the idea; that’s the whole point.”

They didn’t have a tree last year either. Yinka Shonibare came up with a vaguely tree-shaped creation of batik on an iron framework. The year before that, they did have a real tree, supplied by Catherine Yass, but it had a huge fluorescent light down its middle. Shirazeh Houshiary also provided a real one in 1993, but he suspended it upside down and painted gold leaf on its roots.

By these lights, Emin’s notion of providing a Tate tree by placing it somewhere else entirely could well be viewed as too mainstream by half.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: arts; christmas; swindle
This is the same "artist" who thought an unmade bed was art. Don't laugh - Charles Saatchi paid £500,000 for it.

It's pitiful when art equals pretentious stupidity.

Regards, Ivan

1 posted on 12/11/2002 4:35:20 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Delmarksman; Sparta; Toirdhealbheach Beucail; TopQuark; TexKat; Iowa Granny; vbmoneyspender; ...
2 posted on 12/11/2002 4:35:37 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Someone took Emin's "art" to its next logical stage:
Monday 25 October 1999

Tate protesters wreck artist’s unmade bed

By Sam Wallace

TRACEY EMIN’S work My Bed, shortlisted for the Turner Prize, was attacked yesterday by two men who repeatedly jumped on it and drank from the bottles of vodka which form part of the Tate Gallery exhibit.

The men, naked from the waist up with Chinese characters painted on their chests, were wrestled to the ground by curators and a member of the public. A visitor said: “Everyone at the exhibition started clapping as they thought it was part of the show. At first, the security people didn’t know what to do.”

Police later released two men without charge. Yuan Cai, 43, from Stoke Newington, north London, said he had planned the action because the first time he saw Emin’s work he thought it was strong but still institutionalised.

He said: “We want to push the idea further. Our action will make the public think about what is good art or bad art. We didn’t have time to do a proper performance. I thought I should touch the bed and smell the bed.”

Mr Cai, a correspondent for Chinese arts magazines and newspapers, had words such as “Communism”, “Anti-Stuckism”, “Freedom”, “Idealism” and “Internationalism” written on his body in Chinese as well as English. He said his actions were themselves a piece of art named “Two Naked Men Jump Into Tracey’s Bed”. Although he was not a contemporary of Emin, Mr Cai confirmed that he was a student of the Royal College of Art, from where he graduated in 1991. He had also gained a BA from Maidstone College.

J J Xi, 37, from Camden Town, said he wanted to push the work, which was not interesting enough, further to make it more significant and sensational. The words on his body included “Optimism”, “Idealism” and “Anarchism”.

Mr Xi, a graduate of Goldsmiths College, University of London, said: “I had three security guards on top of me. I think the way they treated us visual artists was ignorant. We are planning more demonstrations but we would prefer to keep them secret.”

The Tate later confirmed that “an incident” had taken place, but said that the artwork would be back on display. He said: “The work has now been restored and the exhibition will open to the public as usual at 10am tomorrow.” The spokesman refused to discuss what had been done to “restore” it.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 1999.

3 posted on 12/11/2002 4:46:30 PM PST by dighton
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To: MadIvan; dighton
I wish I'd thought of this scam back in art school.

"No, I DID the assignment; but part of my concept was to send it someplace where you couldn't see it."

4 posted on 12/11/2002 4:52:46 PM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: MadIvan
Modern art is one of the world's biggest frauds.
5 posted on 12/11/2002 5:10:59 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: MadIvan

She should have provided the Tate with a real, traditional tree, as that would be the most unexpected thing to do, but, of course, she's bound by the conventions of being unconventional.

6 posted on 12/11/2002 5:16:37 PM PST by Da_Shrimp
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To: Da_Shrimp
Every time I read about these "artists," I think of the step-mother on Beetlejuice.
7 posted on 12/11/2002 5:23:01 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: MadIvan
Ehhh sorry, I'm all for donating to Charity (Heck, I haven't even done me own Christmas shopping yet coz I'm out every evening carol singing for charity. Hey tonight I was on stage doing comedy to raise cash for the local parish)..but I'd be afraid to donate to this charity, just in case this looper sends me more housework (ie...the messy bed).

I believe my own bedroom is NOW art. (Locally known as bad house-keeping...but ~shruggin' me shoulders~ I've never had ANY complaints from those invited in *ROFL*)
8 posted on 12/11/2002 5:27:18 PM PST by Happygal
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To: Happygal
never had ANY complaints from those invited in

Darling, that perhaps has something to do with the Celtic Gleam of Murder. That has a tendency to discourage complaint. ;)

Love, Ivan

9 posted on 12/11/2002 5:29:04 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan

...and YEEEOUCH again!!!!!!
10 posted on 12/11/2002 5:36:13 PM PST by Happygal
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To: Happygal

And my name isn't O'Sullivan either. ;)

Love, Ivan

11 posted on 12/11/2002 5:39:08 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
A-HA, the Celtic Blink of Mischief has reared it's stye-filled head *LOL*
12 posted on 12/11/2002 5:56:43 PM PST by Happygal
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To: Bella_Bru; MadIvan
Bad art ping. Tracy AWFUL! Ivan, didn't she actually murder someone when she was a teen? She's worse, than trannie/str8 JT Leroy. Blech. And he's awful.
13 posted on 12/11/2002 6:09:39 PM PST by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: MadIvan
My daughter is an art major, and quite talented. It was distressing to her to work so diligently on a design for wearble art (a complicated outfit that made the wearer into a chess piece) when the A student in the class produced a necklace made of dead baby mice encased in cubes of resin.

The dead mouse gurl had a nice speech about why it was art and its "message."

I have become convinced that most modern art has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with the spiel that the artist uses to accompany it.

In that manner, one with a glib tongue could produce a piece of art with Jim Trafficant's hairpiece or Hillary's ubiquitous pantsuit.

At any rate, this is not art, and the sooner insecure monied people learn to speak out and invest in something with actual talent behind it, the quicker the market for these charlatans will collapse.

14 posted on 12/11/2002 6:11:39 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Happygal; MadIvan
Happy, it looks like you made the team!
15 posted on 12/11/2002 8:21:52 PM PST by Erasmus
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