British artist Tracey Emin captured the outer fringes of “faith art” long before the rest of the world normalized this stratum of artistic expression, so it’s no surprise that Emin recently spoke about the context in which some of his works was placed. In 2011, Emin donated one of his neon designs, more passion, to the Government Art Collection of the United Kingdom, and she now asks that the the job is deleted of 10 Downing Street due to revelations about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attendance at a major party in May 2020, who currently (of course) occupies the private residence. She prefers to see it displayed in a British Embassy, maybe abroad.
Last week Johnson had to go toe to toe with the UK parliament when news broke that his private secretary had invited over 100 people at a party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020, a time when dozens of thousands deaths linked to Covid-19 had already accumulated in the United Kingdom. Johnson has now admitted he attended the BYOB party, but he also continues to insist he had no idea the event was a social gathering.
Needless to say, Emin isn’t buying it. “I think lying to people is shameful,” the artist said The arts journal. “People have suffered so much because of Covid. They turned to the government for advice, and it turns out the government told us to do one thing and not do it themselves. The Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral. People had to say goodbye to their parents on their phones. It’s so irresponsible and disrespectful. It is shameful.
Emin also recently survived intensive medical treatment: in July 2020, in order to remove a tumor from the artist’s bladder, surgeons also removed Emin’s uterus, ovaries and part of his colon, as well than part of her vagina. In an interview with The Guardian, Emin revealed that these setbacks had counterintuitively left her feeling lucky and optimistic about the future. It’s clear that the artist is more willing to put her foot down than ever.
“It was a great privilege to have him hung at number 10 Downing Street”, Emin said of more passion. “I know my neon was appreciated there. It lifted people’s spirits. But they don’t seem to need any encouragement now, do they? They seem to be able to handle it themselves.
“more passion is about emotions and feelings, and I have a lot of feelings for people,” she added. “[This government’s] lack of compassion for people is the most important thing, there is no contrition.