One of these years I will finally make it to the Edinburgh festival and spend a few weeks running around trying to see everything. It's been over a decade since I was last in Scotland, and it's been almost that long since I first became acquainted with Tracey Emin's work when I saw her famously rumpled bed in the 1999 Turner Prize exhibition. While the festival is pretty much wrapped up for this year, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art there in Edinburgh is still displaying Emin's first major retrospective until late fall. Covering her 20 years of artistic practice, the show features the aforementioned My Bed as well as more recent work, all of it characterized by what even by American standards would be considered some major overshares about her life. Jonathan Jones finds the whole thing completely discombobulating, but ultimately comes out in Emin's favor:
I have a very strong recollection of a video that was running at the Turner show in which Emin talked about how every aspect of her life is her art, and how she is never not doing art. With her trademark knowing smirk and commitment to brutal honesty she can be an easy target, but Charlotte Higgins says it's that way she tangles up her work and life that makes her so darn interesting:
It's true that Emin's individual pieces often don't do a lot for me, but taken as a whole her work stands as an extraordinary document of one woman's life as an artist in all of its complexity. I'm so curious to see what she does during the next 20 years.