Southard Reid is proud to present a solo exhibition by Eddie Peake.
The rules are that you are pretty but dying. And I am strong and can help you. I can wrap my fingers
around your frail wrist and pull you to my chest. The rule is that you are grateful and I am strong. You
live on air alone and though dying you do everything. I hold your arms and pull you to my chest. “When
you said ʻI canʼt see you-ʼ” “I didnʼt say that, I didnʼt say that at all.” “You said it when we were standing
on the stairs two days ago.” “I donʼt remember.” “You do, you were wearing your sisterʼs blue top.” “I still
canʼt remember. I canʼt breathe… I canʼt see you.”
The Loving Clutches of my Hands presents a carefully constructed environment in which Peake has taken
control of the physical conditions of viewing in an explicitly manipulative but also affectionate gesture.
Combinations of media, in this case sculpture and painting - the latter layered upon photographic imagery
both classical and contemporary in reference - obscure one another. Peake filters his practice through
the personal and autobiographical, and the collisions between his own and a more universally available
history, in works that can manifest themselves as performances, paintings, photographs, sculptures,
drawings, installations or videos.
Icicles melt in the sunlight of your touch. Touch me again - youʼll be aloof and Iʼll be strong and powerful
and sexy. Maybe you want to fuck me? This is when I rescue your crumbling bones and you are grateful.
Iʼll slowly kiss you on the neck which youʼll offer just by standing there, but Iʼll hesitate just in case this is
not what you want. “Why are you waiting?” youʼll shout. When you were gone a shadow rippled down the
corridor. The burnt out cinders of all our sinews blow in the breeze, breaking up ashes and ashes
breaking into ever smaller particles, until we see them no more.
Then there are the dreams. Donʼt you use the word dreams, I do. Dreams lick up against my face. I do
not look for them. I follow them and they are as loud as a surefooted soldier. And you snigger in the sidelines.
We laugh because itʼs funny- all the stomping and beating of the chest- but what else can we do?
We are all laughing, you know that? But I still do what I am told.
For his exhibition at Southard Reid, Peake has built a large structure, four-walled, into which archways
and variously sized apertures have been cut. Highly finished, in plaster board with a flesh-like skin, its
monumental presence in the gallery asserts simultaneously as a tomb-like sculpture, and as an elaborate
obstacle obscuring the artistʼs own work, playful but also confrontational.
- Clover Peake, August 2011
Peake was born in London in 1981. He graduated from the Slade in 2006, was a 2008-09 scholar at the
British School at Rome and is currently completing his Masters degree at the Royal Academy, London.
Recent solo exhibitions include Double Negative at Christopher Crescent, London and History at Lorcan
OʼNeill Gallery, Rome, as well as performances at V22, Contrapposto Pause, and Paws, for Lucky PDF
TV, at Barbican, London. Group shows include Glaze curated by George Henry Longly at Bischoff Weiss,
and Young London at V22. Selected forthcoming projects include a performance at Auto Italia, October
2011, and a solo exhibition in March 2012 at Cell Project Space, London.