multiple layers of bedding and my beds (Tracey Emin et aliae)
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multiple layers of bedding and my beds (Tracey Emin et aliae)

„Textiles are agents of affect policies – that means, they produce affects which are involved in different emotional fields of action. Affects act as representatives of pain or pleasure experiences. Neuropsychoanalytically they motivate both negative affects such as the need to escape pain, or positive affects such as, for example, personal desires/wishes.

Beds are affect intensive spaces as they are used for example for withdrawal, relaxation, sexuality, sleep, pleasure and desire, etc. The upholstery of the mattress, the pillow and the cushion triggers positive muscular sensations or positive somatic markers by reacting to the smallest changes of the body’s position with an adaptive movement.


Tracey Emin discusses the ambivalence of textile architecture with her installation My Bed: here again textiles and upholstery are agents of affect policies: they expand, warm and embed the biological body, alleviate suffering and pain and/or stimulate desire and passion. Hereby textiles absorb traces, smell, body fluid and hold these – within a society of hygiene, of olfactory hypersensitivity and body control this is a strong provocation and thus a dirty bed. Simultaneously the bed is a fragile space, which offers little protection to the outside. Cherry has related Tracey Emin’s work to homelessness in the context of immigration, asylum seeking and a search for existential protection in the European Community in the 1990s (Cherry 2011).“

Helmhold, Heidi: Affect in: Mateusz Kapustka, Anika Reineke, Textile Terms: A Glossary (Textile Terms: A Glossary (Textile Studies), 2016 Emstetten/Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, Edition Imorde


Zu The Great Bed of Ware (1590 – 1600): „This object consists of 28 parts such as roping, bedmats, mattresses, sheets, bolster, pillows and pillowcases, blankets, quilt, counterpane, hangings, curtains…“ und zum Video zu multiple layers of Elizabethan bedding


Zu Gaetano Pesces Sitdown Lowback Armchair (1975): MoMA 


1./2. Tracey Emin, My Bed, 1998, Box frame, mattress, linens, pillows and various objects, overall display dimensions variable, lent by The Duerckheim Collection 2015 on long term loan, Tate Gallery, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 © Tate


25. Mai 2021