My response to the activity assigned for reading week (week 5) is a new set of instructions, more precisely a recipe to get to feel what someone else felt before, which is expressed in a pice of art — My Bed, by Tracey Emin, 1998.
Recipes normally instruct you how to do things in a kitchen, step by step, starting off with a list of ingredients that are necessary to reach the final result, using a set of tools and machinery. Art creation processes work in quite different way because no one is actually guiding the artist to create its piece. However, there is also a process that happens in a certain space and requires different materials and mediums and in that way it can be quite relatable to a cookery set of instructions. Also, a food recipe doesn’t have to — or it shouldn’t at least — include constraints to one’s creativity, allowing instead the process to flow naturally and creatively.
For this activity I created a set of instructions that aimed to reach a result that resembles to the bed Emin has presented as Her bed in a time of depression, intense sexual activity and lack of apetite. As ingredients I’ve used the objects that we can see in the installation, and the process was an attempt to recreate the path towards depression and how it seems to become a routine that is hard to break. The bed is an extremely personal space and this piece clearly expresses the moment the artist has gone through.
As when you make a roast, you start off by preparing a container for the main ingredient, where you’re gonna toss in all the other bits and pieces in the list. During the cooking process you need to observe and use your other senses to work out whether it needs more cooking time, more seasoning and depression is really a similar process. You look at yourself, you add to your routine things that you wouldn’t in a normal circumstance in order to improve your state of mind (being that in a positive or negative way). You look at yourself and you try to do something to feel better, you eventually require other people to help you feeling better, more desirable, less lonely. The pregnancy test is quite curious here because it’s a type of equipment you use to test, as when you probe in the kitchen to test if something is cooked. Same for condoms, that have the same function of foil or cling film in kitchen.