Artist Statement: red couch/memory project
Tracey Emin’s confessional art inspired me to create another personal piece. Emin records moments in time and references her personal history in her work. She has described her art in the following quote: “Much of my work has been about memory, for example, but memories of violence and pain.”
Tracey Emin’s work acts as a disclosure of taboo subjects such as sexual violence and abortion. Her most famous installation, My Bed, was her actual bedding covered in the products of an extreme emotional flux, including used condoms, a pregnancy test, blood stained underwear, tissues, and liquor bottles. She threw this out into the art world for everyone to see and started a conversation about whether this seminal piece of artwork was in fact, art.
I dug this couch out of the dumpster behind my apartment, and later cut it in half with a matt knife and jigsaw, painted it red with my hands, and slashed it open again. This act of destruction was masculine in nature, although the image I created was yonic. The aggression and manipulation is metaphoric of my experiences of feeling invaded and broken. Whereas, I also move towards an urge to destroy when I experience flashbacks and turn my anger to myself and objects because I can not lash out at the people who have harmed me.
This process was invigorating and disgusting. I don’t know where and whom this couch is from, and what it has experienced in it’s lifetime. But I didn’t want to make something pretty, but something confrontational and unsettling, and the moldy cushions are just an added bonus.
I displayed it tilted against this wall because, one, it forces you to stare directly into the hole, and if it were sat on in a functional way, the angle would leave the sitter unnerved and pinned down by gravity with their legs up a wall.
Lastly, this red couch sculpture visually represents a traumatic experience.