Louise Bourgeois & Tracey Emin: Do Not Abandom Me @ Hauser & Wirth

‘Do Not Abandon Me” is the title of the new show with works produced through the collaboration between Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin over the last two years. This is one of the last projects that Bourgeois got involved with before her death.

The 16 gouache works of human torsos painted by Bourgeois depict headless male and female bodies with a fluid, fragile and almost see-through presence. Emin then responded by incorporating her own tiny and lilliputian figures attached to certain parts of the bodies and complimenting each work with handwritten text. Her words are unfiltered, raw, sometimes without making sense. These are the real thoughts that derive from the subconscious and the sexually repressed tortured bodies.

The viewer can see exactly what are the intentions of the two artists: a witty representation of desire, emotion, anxiety and fear of the human body. Their work explores the great fear of being separated and abandoned, emotionally or sexually. Identity, gender and birth are just but a few strong players in this game. The exhibition consists of 16 human bodies sending their own personal distress message – they are headless figures with, bizarrely enough, their own intriguing personality.

Despite the fact that this collaboration between the two artists appears to be innovative, we do not see Bourgeois at her finest but a simple demonstration of skill and balanced work. Similarly, we do not see a new or, at least ,a different Emin. She continues using the same concept of a victimised psyche with a damaged esoteric world that is never able to recover or move forward.
|Kostas Prapoglou