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The non-Tracey Emin Bed or the Bed at 50

The non-Tracey Emin Bed


Tracey Emin emerged on the art scene about 20 years ago. She became renowned for her 1995 installation work of a tent embroidered with the names of the 102 people she “slept” with, as well as other installations, such as her bed in its unedited glory surrounded by totems of her life in her 20s. To me, “My Bed” represents the chaotic frenzy, boundaryless partying, and hormonal passion that drives us when we are young. But the artist that was identified as one of the Young British Artists is turning 50. She was recently interviewed in The New York Times, and in response to a question about 50 being the new 30 she said:

Who’s saying that? When you’re 20 or 30, looking ahead, you see these benchmarks for relationships, career, ambition, sexuality, and they went off into infinity. When you get to 50, you look at what’s ahead of you, and there’s an end. It goes into a nothingness; a void.

This struck me as a somewhat dark, but fairly accurate observation of what hits the psyche at some point during one’s 50s; another of the “crossing the rubicon” thoughts that hover about as we transition from being “young” to the next stage. So, the bed – once a repository of day/night revelry now plays a primarily functional role. Let there be a full night’s sleep.