British artist Tracey Emin rose to fame in the mid-nineties, riding the Sensation wave with her candid, intimate, confessional works in tow. Her most famous work, Everyone I Ever Slept With, consisted of a camping tent appliqued with … well, the names of everyone Emin had ever slept with, from relatives to lovers to her aborted fetus.
Several years ago, Emin put down the sewing needle and picked up a camera, and the result was Top Spot, a feature starring amateur actresses, and based on Emin's own teenage years in the seaside town of Margate, Kent. Emin made the film to instigate dialogue between teenagers and adults; however, when the film was reviewed by the Board of Classification (Britain's version of the MPAA), a scene depicting a teen's suicide attempt earned it a certificate stipulating that all audience members must be at least 18 years of age. Emin yanked her film from theaters last fall in protest of the Board's decision. "I made a very personal film about teenage girls," Emin told the BBC. "I never in a million years thought they would not be able to see it."
Months later, it looks like a compromise has been reached. London's Westminster Council has given Emin a special one-time-only licence to screen Top Spot for a hand-picked audience of 16-year-old girls, as part of the Birds-Eye View Festival for female filmmakers. The screening will be followed by an open discussion led by British journalist and television personality Miranda Sawyer. The event will take place at the Institute for Contemporary Arts on March 12.