Might it be age, and the sense of insecurity that comes along with it, that led the artist to wed the stone? As opposed to being an external object, or a significant other, the stone is a projection of Emin’s belief in what love should be—“majestic, beautiful, and not going anywhere,” she says of her beloved. Emin’s narrative has always been deeply personal, and inevitably one-sided, and thus the stone is an ideal suitor; “I Cried Because I Love You” speaks only of what she needs and yearns to do.
So was the wedding a feminist cry or a gesture of loneliness? It could be both, or neither—the beauty of it all lies perhaps not in the answer, but in the compulsion to ask that question. “I Cried Because I Love You” is a portrait of a woman who is still trying to come to terms with her many desires, which are, more often than not, contrary to one another. For the sake of her art (and perhaps our viewing pleasure), we can only hope that with age, Emin will only continue to share with us the many struggles that are at the center of her powerful identity.