Homage to Edvard Munch and All My Dead Children, by Tracy Emin
From White Cube gallery in London:
Tracey Emin has said in interviews and in her own writing that The Scream by Edvard Munch is her favorite historical painting. In 1998, she made a short film entitled Homage to Edvard Munch and All My Dead Children set on a wooden jetty at the edge of the Oslo Fjord, the same location that Munch used as background for his iconic figure. In Emin’s film, we are first shown the artist naked and curled in a foetal position, from behind; then the camera moves to the fjord’s resplendent water, and we hear Emin scream, the sharp sound filling the screen for almost a minute. Somehow Emin’s version of Munch’s universal image of anguish is more horrifying than the original picture. Munch formulated that image within an Expressionist practice, and a highly personal one at that. But the painting is also objective. Mostly it is assumed that the figure screaming on the jetty is a man, but when I consult a lithograph of the painting made in 1895, I am no longer so sure. It might be a woman. This being unclear, the figure must be Everyman (Everywoman). Munch employed a style that allows the screaming person to be impersonal and general, that is, symbolistic. By contrast, Emin’s adaptation of the painting is extremely realistic.