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Trading cards of some dangerous minds, deep thinkers & radical intellectuals

For those with an interest in big ideas, these trading cards from should fire up your neurotransmitters.

Between 2000-2001, a set of twelve trading cards was released monthly via David Gauntlett’s website This original set of cards featured theorists (and their concepts) from the world of social and cultural theory, gender and identity, and media studies. The first out of the pack was British social theorist Anthony Giddens who devised the theory of structuration and wrote the book on The Third Way. This was followed by theorist Judith Butler whose book Gender Trouble argued that “biological” sexes were just as much as a social construct as gender. Then came the great controversial French thinker Michel Foucault with his ideas about sexuality, gender and power structures. The deck included some interesting choices like artists Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George and concepts like Postmodernity and Psychoanalysis.

This official set of twelve trading cards was thought by some to lack a few key players and its release inspired various academics, students and alike to produce their own cards. These additions included Karl Marx, Carl Jung, Simone de Beauvoir, Edward Said, Germaine Greer, Walter Benjamin and Marcel Duchamp.

Described as “Creative knowledge you can put your pocket™” these cards can be used to play a game of trumps—in which players can match strengths, weaknesses and special skills. For example, Foucault’s special skill of happily rejecting old models and creating new ones, might not quite beat Duchamp’s ability to confuse the hell out of everyone.

The full set is below—but if you want to own a set of these super brainy trading cards (and who wouldn’t?) then deal yourself in by clicking here.
#1 Anthony Giddens—British social theorist.
#2 Judith Butler—American philosopher and gender theorist.
#3 Michel Foucault—French philosopher, theorist, philologist and literary critic.
More thinkers and some big ideas, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
11:55 am
Tracey Emin chooses her favorite ‘Desert Island Discs’

The long-running BBC radio series, Desert Island Discs is well-known for the quality of its celebrity interviews, where a guest chooses 8 tracks that best described key moments in their life. Each guest also gets to pick a book, and one luxury item.

When Tracey Emin guested on the show in November 2004, her luxury item was a pen that would never run out. Her book was a copy of Spinoza’s Ethics. Tracey also gave a revealing interview to host, Sue Lawley, in which she discussed her difficult and traumatic childhood and youth, and her ambitions, the importance of art and her controversial career as an artist.

Tracey’s favorite discs were:

1. John Holt “Riding For a Fall”
2.  The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”
3.  Donna Summer “I Feel Love”
4. The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
5.  Middle of the Road “Chirpie Chirpie Cheep Cheep”
6.  Elvis Presley “Burning Love”
7.  Third World “Now That I’ve Found Love”
8.  David Bowie “Young Americans”

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Tracey Emin: Sex, Success and Celebrity


Posted by Paul Gallagher
06:59 pm
Tracey Emin - Sex, Success and Celebrity
06:49 pm

Is Tracey Emin any good? That’s the question at the heart of Anne-Claire Pilley’s documentary about the celebrated and controversial artist. Tracey Emin - Sex, Success and Celebrity, which was made to coincide with the 2008 retrospective Tracey Emin: 20 Years, pits two opposing voices against each other: neo-classical sculptor Alexander Stoddart, who claims Emin’s work is “horrendous, exploitative, and insincere,” a mix of “cynicism and sentimentalism”; and Guardian scribe and novelist, Bidisha who believes Emin is “a charisamtic, powerful woman,” who produces “real art work of value and tremendous beauty.”

Emin is a fine subject for this kind of documentary, as she has divided audiences and critics since her first solo exhibition at the White Cube Gallery in 1993, and while many may think the argument over Emin’s talent is redundant, her retrospective, Tracey Emin: 20 Years, proved it was very much alive and kicking. Laura Cumming in the Guardian, wondered whether the show was “self-pity or self-parody”:

Tracey Emin: 20 Years is an assault of a show. There is no escape from the agony. The corridors are lined with images of abuse, betrayal, sickness and abortion, tales from hell retold in embroidered banners and neon. The galleries are crammed with martyr’s relics: hospital tags, bloody plasters, painkillers, failed contraceptives, the famous bed with its stained knickers and stubbed fags - supporting evidence to further jeremiads in prose and video. The soundtracks bleeding from one room to the next alone would make you scream, except that Emin does it for you: at the top of her lungs and naked in Norway, in homage to Edvard Munch.

It has to be a joke, this video, doesn’t it? Emin couldn’t possibly expect us to take this absurd literalism seriously - or could she? This is a question for any visitor to her retrospective. Go round it solemnly by all means (and I never saw so much respectfulness as in Edinburgh), but every now and again ask yourself whether Emin mightn’t actually be sending herself up.

While, Lynne Walker in the Independent said, “Tracey Emin’s work crude and self-centered? That’s missing the point”:

...despite the graphic content of some of the work, the sequence of pictures of women with splayed legs, or the in-your-face curses and more enigmatic phrases on the beautiful and hugely detailed blankets, to dismiss her work as crude or self-centred is to miss the point. That’s just one aspect of Emin. By far the most touching examples of her work are Uncle Colin – the piece that, at least on the day I spoke to her, she would most like to save if all else were to be destroyed. A favourite relative whose sudden death traumatised her is immortalised in text and photos, just as the spirit of her grandmother hovers over the colourful There’s a Lot of Money in Chairs – mainly stuffed down the back of them, in this case. The bird drawings sing off the wall, while one of the most fascinating exhibits involves tiny photographic reproductions of work she destroyed in 1990.

It’s brave of Emin to expose so much of herself over such a long period. A short DVD, Why I Never Became a Dancer, tells a bigger story, while the reproduction, on a smaller scale, of Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made from 1996 is such a personal insight that it provokes wry smiles and even a tear.

Tracey Emin - Sex, Success and Celebrity was made as part of the BBC’s Artworks (which has a ghastly opening title sequence) strand, and includes interviews with Emin, and various contributors, and discussions on Emin’s works including Uncle Colin, Why I Never Became a Dancer, A Conversation with My Mum and It’s Not The Way I Want to Die.

Before you watch, here are 10 facts about Tracey Emin, as found on her website.

1. Tracey Emin might not be the kind of artist your granny would like. Her autobiographical style of work is all about exposing the kind of things about herself that most people would be too ashamed to reveal.
2. Her confessional subjects include abortions, rape, self-neglect and promiscuity, sometimes expressed with the help of gloriously old-fashioned looking, hand-sewn applique letters. Her dad quite likes the sewing, because it reminds him of his own mum.

3. One of her installations, called Everyone I Have Ever Slept with 1963-1995 is a tent, into and onto which she has sewn all these people’s names.

4. Some see poetry in the titles of her work. They include: You Forgot to Kiss My Soul; Every Part of Me Is Bleeding; My Cunt is Wet With Fear; and I Need Art Like I Need God. There is no Still Life With Bowl of Apples, as far as we know.

5. Emin has been accused of cynically exploiting the public’s darkest levels of voyeurism.

6. But her honesty can be disarming. She once told Observer interviewer Lynn Barber that the first thing she did when she started making money was to buy medical insurance, because: “I’m sickly and I get run down and I have very bad herpes, and I like knowing that the doctor’s there.”

7. Emin’s first move into the public eye was opening a shop in London’s Bethnal Green called, er, The Shop, with fellow artist Sarah Lucas. Emin’s stock included letters she’d written and ashtrays with pictures of Damien Hirst’s face stuck to the bottom of them.

8. Emin was the inspiration - if that’s the right word - for a latter day art movement called Stuckism, which is devoted to advancing the cause of painting as the most vital means of addressing contemporary issues. The movement was founded by her ex-boyfriend Billy Childish, to whom she had once said: “Your paintings are stuck, you are stuck! Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!”

9. White Cube curator Jay Jopling spotted her in 1994 and the big time called. She came to wider public attention during a live Channel 4 Turner Prize debate in 1997. A very inebriated Emin mumbled incoherently that “no real people” would be watching and that she wanted to go be with her mum and friends.

10. Two years later, “Mad Tracey from Margate” (her words) was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for an installation entitled My Bed, a testimony to her self-neglect and over-indulgence. She didn’t win, but Charles Saatchi paid £150,000 for it.



Posted by Paul Gallagher
06:49 pm
Seasonal Good Wishes from “Tracey Emin?
08:45 pm

Another sort of art forgery is being investigated by British police, but there’s a twist: someone is impersonating Turner Prize-winning artist Tracey Emin in a mass mailing sent to her neighbors “explaining” her supposed plans for a swimming pool to be constructed inside of a building in Spitalfields she acquired in 2008 for ?Ǭ

Posted by Richard Metzger
08:45 pm
Sold!  The Astounding “Blood Head” Of Marc Quinn

Along with Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn belongs to that select group known, for better or worse, as The Young British Artists (YBAs).  While Hirst has his formaldehyde-dipped sharks, and Emin has her unmade beds, Quinn is perhaps best known for Siren, his solid-gold, wildly contorted statue of Kate Moss, of whom the artist calls, charmingly, a “cultural hallucination.” 

You can watch below as Quinn explains how, in creating Siren, he drew inspiration from a ‘70s museum trip to see Tutankhamun.  Okay, a Goldfingered Kate Moss is nice, but I’m more intrigued by the Quinn piece unveiled yesterday at London’s National Portrait Gallery:

Quinn has been making casts of his own head and creating models using his own frozen blood since 1991.  He has made a new one every five years to document how he is aging, but the first three are all overseas.  The gallery said the acquisition of the latest edition, made in 2006 and entitled “Self,” was a major addition to its contemporary collection.

“Quinn’s ‘Self’ is an outstanding acquisition—a major icon of contemporary British art, both startling and revealing,” said Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery.  The gallery paid 300,000 pounds for what it describes as an “unconventional, innovative and challenging” piece of art, bought using a grant from the Art Fund charity and other donations.

Quinn used about nine or 10 pints of blood for the artwork, which he said was all about pushing the boundaries.  “To me this sculpture came from wanting to push portraiture to an extreme, a representation which not only has the form of the sitter, but is actually made from the sitter’s flesh,” he said. “It only exists in certain conditions, in this case being frozen, analogous to me, with a person being alive.

London Gallery Acquires Blood Head

More on Self @ Factual TV

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
04:52 pm