Tracey Emin’s My Bed: a violent mess of sex and death

By Skye Sherwin

Beds tend to have supporting roles in art, but not here. In this confessional work, Emin doesn't shy away from bringing theatre to one of her lowest points

With My Bed, Tracey Emin turned one of her life's great low points, a bedbound drinking spree, into a theatrical arrangement worthy of Jacobean tragedy: a violent mess of sex and death. Amid the yellowing sheets there are condoms, a tampon, a pregnancy test, discarded knickers and a lot of vodka bottles. It's also very kitchen sink. That blue slab of carpet speaks of lonely rented rooms.

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