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Tracey Emin’s Trophy Design is a Sad Face Emoji for an Increasingly Depressing Brit Awards to Come

Is there anything more upsetting than the idea of Ant and Dec handing James Bay something that looks like a Cath Kidston sex toy?
Emma Garland
London, GB
8.12.14

With Ant and Dec confirmed as presenters, Band Aid 30 in full attendance and James Bay picking up the Critics Choice Award this morning over George The Poet, the Brit Awards 2015 already look set to be the most depressing yet. What used to be full of intentional fighting, accidental nudity and righteous smear campaigns has gradually been reduced to a self-conscious pantomime full of jokes that wouldn’t get any retweets. And that was before Tracey Emin unveiled her design for the trophy. I didn’t think it could get any worse than when Damien Hirst turned it into a subliminal Smarties advert in 2013, but I was very, very wrong.

I mean, just look at the state of that. It looks like a toilet brush wrapped in sixth form coursework.

Call me a narrow-minded pleb, but I do not get Tracey Emin. There is nothing on earth that will ever convince me that “The hole room” constitutes groundbreaking art. And the worst thing about it is, everyone knows what to expect from her at this point. This is the “messy bed” artist we’re talking about here - the “sit spread-legged and scrape a pile of money into your vagina” artist. When she was asked to design the artwork for Band Aid 30, obviously she was going to fire back “Faith Love Trust You Me And The World” in neon piping on a black background like something James Murphy would have regretted putting on a 7” before he was famous. So when someone said “Hey, Tracey, fancy designing a trophy that celebrates a worthwhile contribution to music?” they probably knew full well that what they would get back would be a prototype for a Cath Kidston range of anal probes.

There is nothing more physically upsetting than the idea of Ant and Dec handing the award to James Bay, which is literally a thing that will happen because there is no god. As if last year's “Bastimental” (Rudimental + Bastille = Bastimental) wasn’t a big enough nail in the coffin of British music, the trophy is the sad face emoji for an increasingly disappointing celebration of UK culture. It is the porcelain embodiment of James Corden’s fifty jokes about Harry Styles going to the toilet, Alex Turner’s mic drop and Sam Smith’s fade all rolled into one.

What would be good, though, is if Noel Gallagher wins one, because just imagine what would fall out of his filterless mouth when confronted with something like that. Whatever happens, vote Noel, because I really want to see a situation unfold when someone like Tom Odell approaches the most cynical man in the country, says “Congratulations on the new album, Noel!” and then hands him Charlotte from Sex and the City’s dream dildo.

Follow Emma on Twitter: @emmaggarland