Revision of Critical Essay

I revised the critical essay and the final version for assessment is attached.

[the original is in this post]

My key revisions were

(a) adding a reference to Berger & Sontag (1983) To tell a story to elucidate one underpinning concept of the relational dynamic between author-subject/object-viewer

(b) to write through the previously bullet-pointed section that outlines the key changes of the above in the context of the networked image.

(c) to add a further closing sentence to draw back to the role of performativity and the shifting construction of boundaries between public and private in the context of the networked digital image.

I have highlighted the changed sections in a dark red in this new document, here.



Tracey Emin’s My Bed (1998)

[first published to Close Friends on FB, 9 February 2017, 18:11]


the first thing i notice when i eventually enter the room is the scent… smell… hm… no: it stinks. while my eyes register the bed, my nose recoils at some languid humid correlation of it.
i circle around it, again, step back, watch the others who watch it, don’t quite take a straight on stance but peek at it sideways, register the tissues, knickers, vodka bottles, pregnancy test, condoms, rizla, more condoms. the slippers, cuddly toys. more vodka.
it’s the piece i travelled for, like parker’s exploded shed, emin’s bed was definitely one for a journey. i hadn’t prepared for its odour nor for my shyness… after all, it’s 18 years old.
later on i find the headsets with an audio loop, women with strong local accents talking about how no self-respecting woman should have these things lying about, let alone let anyone – neither lover nor friend, certainly not public – see any of this.
that was always how i took this piece: as a radical inversion of what a bed for a reclining nude would be for an art historical public. and that it registered class as much as sexual agency. i had kindly overlooked the vodka bottles.
‘In contrast to other women’s beds as represented in the Western artistic tradition—such as that of Titian’s Venus, with its suggestively mussed sheets—Emin’s bed bore the marks of blood, sweat, and, most likely, tears. The bed could certainly be interpreted as having served as a site of pleasure, but it was also suggestive of a psyche steeped in doubt, self-neglect, and shame.’
very glad i travelled for it.