Another chance to hear artist Tracey Emin's Desert Island Discs, with Sue Lawley, first broadcast in November 2004. Tracey Emin is one of the most successful and controversial artists to emerge during the 1990s. Her work was championed early on by influential art dealer Jay Jopling and later by the collector Charles Saatchi. Her work is highly autobiographical and confessional. A talented drawer and painter, she has attracted most attention for her art installations - including her tent, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and the Turner Prize-nominated My Bed. Her art is adored and condemned in equal measure, but wherever she exhibits she attracts queues and has a room at Tate Britain dedicated to her work. She was brought up in Margate.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Previously sounds music radio put low, the van here desert island discs is taking its usual easter break for the next few. It's so to keep you going until a back on air, we'll be showcasing a few programmes from outback catalogue As usual, as this is a podcast, the music has been shortened for rights reasons this week. The castaway is tracy em and who was interviewed by sea lowly in two thousand and six my custom. This week, is an artist. Her work, a sensational indeed one of her most famous works. A tent called everyone I have ever slept with was a centrepiece of famous royal academy exhibition sensation in nineteen ninety seven two years,
Eight, as she was short listed for the turn, a prize for work which included my bed and invocation of appeared of breakdown, including stained cousin used condoms. She attracts critical approval and vitriol, not always in equal measure and takes not unreasonably some delight in the controversy that her art in genders. Much of it is bad. East on her own complicated life. She was raped as an adolescent became promiscuous and Attempted suicide like it or low that the impact of her work is impossible to ignore. Cues form wherever it shone around the world and she the room dedicated to it in tate britain, my stuff go she says- has been with my art and my own personal survival, and it's all linked. She is Tracy em in so em. How much has your art tracy, which you so autobiography
Well, so confessional that saved you from yourself. If you like, it's been kind of therapy for you. I think it started off like that. I always am not the best visually artists in the world, and I really mean that, while I love that my art and what's kept me going, is the fact that it's about communication and that's where the survival is while I may come out and I'm communicating then not alone, and, as was simple, but would it have worked view if it hadn't made such an impact? If you hadn't achieved such fame and indeed such fortune, not at the otter carried on part of it is my ambition is well and my drive that kind of thing I go hand in hand with it must involve paperless its meal. You can't do this. You can't do that. You won't built citys and upset you can can do. I want to buy. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance and love face. If your uncle faith, it's not gonna work. You keep mentioning hardware coming. I think that's very much part of using people, inevitably looking at your work, think there's a kind of
can a lazy person, I was gonna. Tell everybody she's been to bed with in this field, but there's a kind of, professionalism at work in you at this. At the same time, it's really amazing to work with people at curators board abroad, museums or wherever they say, you're incredibly professional, like somehow german actor, incredibly professional nasa hippo, my name's tracey, emin you, don't you don't get here by just being lazy and slack, you have to be professional, it's like everybody in their profession or the top of it. They get, thereby by being slack, but as you know, people will be surprised to hear that the law should be surprised because it's not the sort of stuff they get. Such recognition to recall that across the kind of sir, from where your bed was in your work for the eternal exhibition. There was some beautiful water colors on on the war, went there either not didn't and what kind of sitting see them get mentioned anywhere in the press that described them too because of a very beautiful, and they were very tiny water colours about four inches by four inches,
and they were scenes of myself sitting in above, and they were very traditional, very, very dainty and beautiful little water colours and did they give you the same pleasure to do as creating a kind of must stop bed and the detritus of sexual activity, and when I make this would cut us was that she cried at the time. So yeah comes from the same place, it's an emotional thing, but you wouldn't have achieved what you have achieved and fame and the recognition. If you'd just on water colours The point we don't know doing we don't know is the right answer to that I'll, explain it as notice to get some kind of notoriety or some kind of credit. Same then, you have to make a seminal pace work. We have to change the face of what people understand, as are always contemporary. All I've done that were two pieces of work. I've done it with my tent and I've done it with my bed
most artists, no matter how successful they'll, and even if they are really good, living with joy to them, don't make any. Seminar in their life. I've done that with two things when people say is good or bad or rubbish. I have done it. That's what the difference is, because he did it with a clear vision. That's what the difference is telling about invest record and so it as we talk about ot, my first records John holt and it's riding for a fall. This one in particular have it because it's the soundtrack from one of my films and the film is actually me riding across margate beach on a horse like lady godiva. Goes home. You won't make it at the time now was naturally, but I did have marcia on dynamic, calchas, stetson home and I shouted the ten applies with delight in for a full soundtrack, because even in my heart I knew not my fault when I did, I knew no. I was either gonna win that ties. So I set myself up
big thing? I knew I left home last night. And writing for a full, rich tracy, aiming used on them. A film of herself writing class margate beach, margate, her hometown short videos being part of your work, you made another one about called why I never became a dancer which is produced
what you originally wanted to bees. It a dancer, I think, even hours about fourteen out of light in a dancer. Definitely, and why did you never become a dancer in market? The best answer were men and it was a lot of pressure from them. Older men slept most of them just wasn't conducive to the whole idea. Bennett answer is speaking. Metaphors has pushed us the dance floor. That's for sure away. There was a lot of unhealthiness about the sex thing in that kind of stuff, but she did, That's him was pretty good tuna. The weren't trying around smashing things up a breaking into houses. We would dance and having sex. It was the most on health thing in the world we live in an icon it, and now you ve, made a feature in the full length film called top sport, which is named after the night club. I think that you went away to in market now. Think about tops bar is tops. What was actually tee
age discourtesy. When I was even younger. This is whether the disco at twelve thirteen votes would go to show the girls in the film that you ve made a round about your kinds of age. Then I fourteen fifteen. Yet it goes in the film, especially about fourteen fifty and its autobiographical. It's kind of a biography go to factors, have got six girls playing out six different facets of the personality, Give me the settling. First of all, this is mounting margaret looking feeling bleak, no ok, looking absolutely beautiful from enough that's what margaret locker superstar. With an underage girl gets raped, which is what happened to you. Yeah yeah. There must be loads of pizza, doesn't know this expression I was raped. I had sex against my will, but it was called been broken into you were broken into. You went to school. The next thing you selves, broken into last night. You didn't comply you think that's the place its code,
one on and on so you would have expected it to happen. Some kind of think you know that it could happen. You'd kind of expect it to happen, because that's what happens just par for the course it goes to a lot of girls yeah, but it's somebody they know get. I think, there's quite a few, no no nos involved, and please don't do that and annabeth push him ba. What is that? girls, don't necessarily let me I didn't go to go to persistent complained. Why energy, because you didn't, in those days, This is why, in the seventies mid seventies, did you tell your mother year, told my mom and pushes the same at the same attitude? That's what and and this attempted suicide just well in this film is in the air, but this this one's, a arrests, slashing you. What did you do you jumped over harbour war, thereby sees it? and perform a really good, sir, so you knew you weren't really denies could have drowned quite easily. Don't get me wrong if you really drunk on its lot, twelve o clock, and you got your clothes on wiping jumping in this hobby, horses
I was nine. The fate went into the sand and then attempt backup like a cop and as members looking out and feeling. Stupid and really insignificant and really tiny and theirs. The stars. So what could have been a tragedy at she ended up in some beautiful and I think as one in the first two times in my life that I understood about nature completely record number: two is the beach version, it's good vibrations, and it goes really good with what we just talked about, because this song reminds me of when the happy times in my life, when I as a kid with me and my brother and a whole load of us friends, listening to the beach boys and actually jumping in the hopper bowl and top of the fat haul them all start running around trying to catch up kids jumping in and it would swim across the hall and then he grown around the other side, the hobbit! Then we spend back again I'm used to listen to the beach boys and
ten. That market was california the beach boys and good vibrations. I gather that at the end of the film tops, but margaret guess bombed is that how you feel about it still tracy? Now it's not erin. I said I would have had a tidal wave if I could have had one, but there wasn't in the budget and the former muggah isn't people. My mother is me eradicating the past insane like it's gone now, so you taking control of it
me about that early pask, as in the very beginning when you live, there is very little guy you're, quite happy. When you know I don't think I've ever been happy. I thought you were happy in a big hotel. You found no, we had a strange upbringing cause. Might that moment that won't married? My dad left with his wife three days. My mom with my mom treaties, which will do so one day somewhere else. So as a tiny child. I was aware that something wasn't quite how it should be and why was very sad loss of time as well? Do he had another family, some less, but each other didn't yeah another family someone you haven't hemison, whereas other family somewhere near my tabs, a bit of it was the word for it. Philanderer philanthropy Correct begins with s, but eventually the bottom fell out of this world
If the carrier says it was because he went, but he owned the hotel didn't know what that went bankrupt in atlanta. Seventy two lost absolutely everything and with it everything that my mom owned as well. So for the moment his one hundred pitch from her talent with staff and was kind of thing. My friends had this explains the princess and the pea factor were chasing the next minute. Will squatting in a cottage with the staff used to live, With absolutely nothing and with no data around data, not all I'm unemployed, very upset, angry and frustrated mom, who didn't had got work every hour godsend, so she could provide for us, but you ran while therefore cause you had no discipline year. We didn't have much to add a told me. We don't have much dispute was not that wasn't there. My mommy rush. It was difficult fur coat with everything and but you play too from school, I mean you just never played turn until didn't go to school at very different pleasure in your countries.
Someone who pretends. That is how I see echoing pretends agenda to school in the daytime and comes back. I just said: but this is where it all began, really isn't. Tracy Amman flouting the rules of convention really just doing what she felt like when she woke up one morning, yeah yeah, I'm in my favorite program that authority or something but also in some ways on climate change. I think that's what I haven't sex when all was quite young. I thought everytime la slept with someone is accorded the springboard effect I stay if by sleep and with some one, it was like travelling to new countries to new world. I felt it was yet was good. It was fray. You know it wasn't her in any one. It was. It was great. What was the problem with it? I suppose one she said it. Wasn't it hurt you? I think when I look back on it now, twenty five year old, and staple with a fourteen year old girl. I think it was pretty paying for here. I have to question their motives were, but then again I wanted to do it or do I wanted to do it.
I'm just not the kind of woman who's gonna be version and get married. That's just was never gonna happen to me. Just never was. Caught good next summer I took it is done the summer. I feel love position He reminds me of my guy in nineteen. Seventy seven place could the a high disco, all trendy, so people upon everyone used condensed margaret was fourteen, member when trying pot james silver thorn shoes and among had jumper up- and I was fourteen milestones in your face.
Now don't answer and I feel, love arts I was going to be your eventual salvation tracy, but am difficult to get into it without any qualifications. He was a kind of tortuous route. She trod, but eventually you got an interview at maidstone college of art and which you ultimately recognized was way he wanted to be. Why did you find so attractive. What was it? I got. Two maids and eight o clock in the morning had no money and someone give me lift and I said, outside and the dinner ladys from the canteen common him.
They took me in, and they made me a cup of tea and was amazed and was beautiful, cause it's an awkward park. This great become, trees and and screws everywhere, and it was free- is that I just my personal life was an absolute mess, of course, but I just loved every single day at college. I loved it. I couldn't play every day couldn't leave her. Tat was to go in and get a place. There does a lecturer. Who is there then said since that you were the most remarkable student he'd ever taught. He said you were an energetic, enthusiastic prolific, interesting work every day I was happy to be there. I got first class of those with a distinction thing. You know I loved it. I loved every single moment of it and you were prolific, what kinds of things we? U producing, what kind of our works ahead fuel for monks,
The legal scene is that of german expressionism, pretty bleak stuff, but yeah. It was really flake that lots of self portraits as well and signing them miss t k m in which is bit prim yep. It was also kind of quiet german effecting connection away, but then it all went down hill again after that didn't because you went to the whole college of art to study, for they may you weren't very happy, and then you had an abortion and we have a real college of all. Who is the best thing about little college law is tat letter signed in after it goes down hill and also I was an opponent.
He pat painter and I go into painting. So I do. It was very difficult to draw. The young lady could draw got caught good paint, an aircraft as well. I ten years later sloping aware, but he wasn't just that you weren't getting on at the icy. I mean you also. Your personal life was going wrong. Everything went down hell, you had a couple of abortion there, one after the other. I am pretty nasty experience me. One was really. Yeah, what didn't work was. Why was bad cause pregnant with twins, one of the fetuses to come, but the other one hadn't, so it was inside me. You didn't know but no five days later, delirious going, yellow friend come and see me an interest rush, miss hospital, and then I had to have it was it come Dnc here and also the person who was whether the time reason why devotion? Because they didn't
didn't want to be with me and always resulted in you just gonna giving out you destroyed of every right of heart. Will you do I heard you didn't you? I thought you destroyed all the argued evident. Even giving out sounds very passive. Don't think I'll? Do it anymore, I smashed it all up and refer in rubbish bins. And I got rid of it always apply outside because, after being pregnant, did the true essence of creativity for myself so then I couldn't justify the author was making it, which is more obvious, Spinning up the world, more rubbish, more stuff, and I couldn't justify so I decided to get rid of it all next piece of music. What is it I can't say it's the clash and it says: should I stay or should I go, I'm godmother to mick jones, his daughter, stella, the hell I still your name, drooping diane
Want me exactly two about baby, don't tell which closed fetnah turnout and ocean clashing. Should I stay or should I go all of that happened at the turn of the decade tracy into the nineties by ninety. Ninety three m: you had a similar exhibition at them. Fashionable white cube gallery You killed my major retrospective smart about two billion. You spoke about an historic, but he was a similar exhibition was a big turning point. Wasn't it woe not sure what made the difference. How come suddenly. You know you could be back on track after all, because up become friends with Sarah Lucas
and a ceremony opened up a shop together and Sarah financed or poland one upon the only condition I would be there and because of this for six months kind of his old, something in me which was very positive, and then I met J Joplin and become from with him jack london man like you yet J. It hurt this thing, which was people could pay ten pounds, invest in my creative potential for that, like three letters to J one night, It gave me ten quid and suicide writing to him saddam's you driving it forward. You being entrepreneurial was yale, always entrepreneurial. I had money. I lived and twelve pound week at the time answer. By doing this, all of his coming together during this letter thing for ten pound are sent out about eighty letters. Gonna selling shares in yourself rewards year and also sent mobile idea. Parttime philosophy course that back philosophy. Yes, is that meant
It sticks in my brain my mind, everything I was woken up completely. It was amazing, but it's also I mean what you're describing is about becoming professional, isn't it about having disciplines imposed upon you by Events have Lucas all by yourself, as was suddenly having too conform in the best kind of way took to drive. You sell forward beyond. You have to add two conforming, so ways even respect for friendship. I had to do that and it were, and it worked here whose good cape record number five middle of the road and its tributaries cheap, cheap on this room. It's me of my mom, and this is the kind of song which I think will haunt me forever go sounds silly, but now I think if I don't ever become a mother, I think up a very upset and sad about that. When I'm
especially when I'm old, but by still cannot why, anyway, this reminds me of my mom and my mom really really really really loves us and really cares about us. I know that she does so, and this just reminds me of when I in the middle of the road and chappie canopy cheap, cheap? All of your work, as we said, was autobiographical them that certainly that first stuff for the white cuba exhibition mossy even to the point of featuring a crumpled cigarette packet which belong to you.
Colin explained that to me here, Michael can and got killed in a car crash in nineteen. Eighty two, he was at a traffic lights and a lorry came down and pushed his car underneath the bus, and he was about to light a cigarette at the time said. The cigarette pack a day was holding the benson hedges packet, which is gold, and you could see where his imprint of his hand, Most was at the time and he was killed and if you always kept all of these bits and pieces, I mean there are other things you use and baby shoes, and I dunno oh, let her get everything a cape means. Something to me isn't just for how it looks. I can't I consciousness things that look good or look like they would work. The things have to mean something to me. So it's all genuine. Is it it's all real in matters that you couldn't? Sometimes it said you knew other people, so For you know. Most of the people of the south me thought I did a cut in. I did I do believe, no one does end,
think without my my sister and also, I believe, in the distribution of wealth really strongly, and I think if I'm in We lack and employs six people really brilliant. Now I understand that known, but I'm really too about the art itself as to whether it matters whether it really was If the blanket that you slept with when you and nine I dont know if it matters much towards people, but it really matters to me as a kind of things, but a lot the things that you produce, therefore are to do with things that happen and in your life. It means that you still feel strongly about them ass ever as a rear, their ugly head. China come and get me, so I make something out of it. Put it to rest again, so it is art as therapy, which is where we began yeah, but also, as I get older, I'm a wound up about martin it at le existent suck it about some really big know, and I might work about that now put news on in the morning.
And I'm gonna? Look you made a lot of money out of your tiny little existence. He hadn't structure is just beginning, I trust fund go everything on how to work for myself. I worked for this. I made this happen and I want to show other people what they can do that next piece of music. What is it? Oh, this is good fun. This is Elvis presley. It's burning up and Larry Why, of course is I was in istanbul two years ago, and I haven't had sex for a year and had a vote went on and on those listening to overcapacity burning, again and again and again and again and again because I was burning up- and I made a film with a taxi driver of me, Looking for a man, any man in his temple and and now actually driver dumb taxi driver is incredibly good looking, and that is a very, very big mirror. I realized after I looked the same while he
It was two years ago in front of my leninist dvd looking through the lens and not looking at the man yet italy and burning level burning up stray. She imagined overlap read aloud on the desert island available and you are an eel forty one years old? I you know he s coming from everything use, you sound as if yolks of getting happier as you go
I think I have here and I'm gettin happier and then some what happens on a river states to really difficult will have a process to bear. You know, but we need money, can buy you, love and can't buy you health by can get you really really good health insurance and it can while you're round the world air ticket at any given moment that you need it and you can buy a beautiful house which you have to tell me quickly about. I live in a very beautiful huguenot house in spitalfields, there's not one straight floor, one straight door, one straight window in my house: it's like living on a drunken ship, but other than that. I'm told it's immaculate yeah. Allow everything in its place through the air. I got stopped a customs every day and they wanted to open my case, and so please don't people know who I am it's gonna be really embarrassing limit is a mess. I said, no, that's just isn't perspective, that's so decided if we don't tell anyone would for breakfast and you go.
At the gym in the right field, swim every day and I'll never eat bad food, the only thing onto which is read really really negative embarrass her drink too much and I'm gonna have to do something seriously about this residual, ironically gateways, I stops Can a man of smoking for twenty seven years last christmas christmas day, and I want to get myself. Another gift ought to be free to break away from the alcohol com, stand it. So I mean what all that says is your conforming. You know that in your middle age, william forty one is just about middle aged is middle age. It is only when the nice know is there, is there a danger of your turning into a kind of discrete water colorist? Is that what we say so I want to go. I wanna go to rome and they all paintings. I this is actually learn and what about love you looking for love, Who is it
Looking for love only you liked the air like here you'd, like children, had loved her children, air bar hey man out, then that is not on, sends out the right signals on my relate for most passionately. Independent mental would like that. I'm at six billion seventeen months scary. You know, there's always things which, a complete. No, no for most men has to be a very big, strong man to be able to take her on and somebody's mind. The few yeah yeah like a thing, happened record numbers, as this is quite good as appropriate. What we term the decision now now that we found love when almost fourteen coming night club in london and don't who was my life then- and this so every time I hear it, it makes me happy.
The lyrics are very good because they kind of half really sexist and kind of vile. Both are half quite amazing. I think it kind of matches a lot of what my, how my life They know how to treat it. Are we gonna do Where are we the third world, and now that we've found enough. If we're talking castaway tracy, there is no doubt you want to survive on your own. It's brilliant. My mum said that she knew that I was going to fly and she took the plane had crashed and they said that was one person
survive. She said she wouldn't have to look to see who it was. She knows it would be nate. How would you like to think that art historians might place you? You know? Let's say they're writing about your fifty years on. Would you like to feel that they would say about your contribution and you thousand and though he could thing so when I'm eighteen, nineteen, I'm still my canal in african, have to rethink the things that they ve said about me and few them asked. I too think it now, Don t worry that. Would he like or not she still here she still around. If a really long time, straggled yell americans, David ferrie, For me, young americans is about what can happen to us all, just in the second just in a moment and the planning joel. On friends it? I didn't say it through the qatar one of his songs in venice
because the was a young belly and young americans now tracy. If you could only take one of those eight records which one would you take, I think I take the David very young americans, because I can dance to a casino not tat, I could try to remember all the lyrics tat. I could write down and then cut him up
do it every day does make some other kind of colleges and poems out of them? Now? What about your book as well as the bible in shakespeare, even really love this? I dont think I from pretentious impetuous music what further, but I might be in my book at the attacks penalizes ethics. Why? Why? Because it reads like poetry, yet philosophy It also reads like a kind of guideline for some kind of spiritual enlightenment. So if your trap, does island when your own could be quite lonely, so you'd have to connect with nature in a good way. Espinosa ethics would be really good to help you do that. Without feeling alone, you'd actually start to understand and fill one with everything and your luxury can, I have to know, and you have one will actually attack. I know I could do. Could I'd want a pen never runs out to draw with to right way to write and draw is definitely some golden notebook that never runs out.
By two issues: the pages from shakespeare, whatever trace yemen. Thank you very much indeed, for letting his heel desert island disk thanks. Beyond today is the daily pop culture media for it asked the question about one big story in the news and beyond just how big is netflix? Why are young people getting lost in the sis I've seen into hailing on matthew, price and alone
If the team of curious produces, we all searching for answers that change the way we see the world. I was actually quite shocked by how many people this issue affects so returning stories about technology about identity. Are you trying to look back? No, I am not trying to look black power where power lies, how it's changing and every weekday we speak to the smartest people the bbc and beyond its basically what I've been wanting shoe since I was little talk about business and economics in the stories, started form in my head. That's why I've land is ok to fail, subscribed to us on BBC sounds and join in on the hashtag beyond today.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-12.