Thursday, June 22, 2006
Art and Abortion
I have read AJ and Richard's post below with great interest. Inevitably, I turn to art to make sense of life. Tracey Emin famously appeared very drunk on TV and swore a lot before crying out 'I want my Mum', or words to that effect. Her work My Bed, strewn with used condoms and other debris, was berated by the popular press when it first appeared in the gallery. Emin continues to make controversial work, although she is now pretty mainstream with her own gallery in Tate Britain. Okay, I love Emin's work, so what's my point? My point is that all her work displays an amazing degree of fragility. This particular work, Tiny Emin, is no exception. It recalls the children she has aborted. In the context of the debate (below) on abortion the image says it all. Yes, the law has to protect the unborn child - and I believe it does that sufficiently well as it is. But it also has to protect the woman. Perhaps, as Richard suggests, there are some women who get rid of pregnancies without giving it a second thought. For the majority, however, I believe it is a decision they have to live with every day. Emin certainly does, as this work bears testimony. Emin exposes her self in her work so that the seemingly brash, narcissistic artist turns out to be nothing of the kind.