Eddie Peake Brings Naked Performers and Roller Skating to London’s Barbican for Frieze

Are you ready to enter "The Forever Loop"?

Eddie Peake’s Touch (2012) at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.Photo: Mark Blower via Fad Magazine
Eddie Peake’s Touch (2012) at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.
Photo: Mark Blower via Fad Magazine
Eddie Peake with the performers of The Forever Loop at London’s Barbican.<br>Photo: Rebecca Reid via The Evening Standard

Eddie Peake with the performers of The Forever Loop at London’s Barbican.
Photo: Rebecca Reid via The Evening Standard

Are you into nudity and roller-skating? If the answer is yes, you are in luck. Everyone’s favorite Enfant terrible, Eddie Peake, is launching his new commissioned project for the Barbican’s unique Curve space today, and it involves a generous dose of these two things.

Peake’s The Forever Loop installation will give viewers the chance to see—and walk around—two naked performers frolicking across the 90-meter-long curved hall, accompanied by roller-skaters clad in onesies, for 10 hours a day, seven days a week for three months.

The inspiration for the work came out of a frustration with certain technical aspects of showing artworks. “I’ve always had a problem walking into video installations in art galleries, entering a looped film and you don’t know if you’re at the beginning, middle or end. Through my disdain for that I became kind of obsessed with it,” he told the Guardian of the durational aspect of his piece.

The naked-bodies-as-artistic-material (and roller skaters) are complemented by a series of seemingly random objects dotted around the space, including bonsais and a number of screens, showing documentation of past performances and home videos of him as a toddler.

Peake, who is represented by the blue chip gallery White Cube, is fond of nudity, and sexuality is a recurrent concern and key motif in his oeuvre. The London-based artist is, after all, best known for Touch (2012), a football match featuring naked players that took place at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. That same year, he also staged Amidst A Sea Of Flailing High Heels and Cooking Utensils, Part 1, at Tate Britain; and Part 2, at the Chisenhale Gallery—two pieces also starring scantily clad performers.

Eddie Peake’s Touch (2012) at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.<br>Photo: Mark Blower via Fad Magazine

Eddie Peake’s Touch (2012) at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.
Photo: Mark Blower via Fad Magazine

Nudity, he told the Guardian, is for him a “matter of fact, unremarkable, not shocking in any way.” “We attach semiotic register to the naked body which to me is total madness,” he continued. “Of all things in the world surely the body is the one thing which doesn’t have inherent meaning.”

Eddie Peake’s The Forever Loop is on view at the Barbican, London, from October 9, 2015 – 10 January, 2016.


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