SOUTHARD REID, 2nd Floor, 67 Dean Street Soho London, W1D 4QH
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 I can’t see you-’’ ‘I didn’t say that, I didn’t say that at all.’ ‘You said it when we were standing on the stairs two days ago.’ ‘I don’t remember.’ ‘You do, you were wearing your sister’s blue top.’ ‘I still can’t remember. I can’t breathe’ I can’t 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 - you’ll be aloof and I’ll be strong and powerful and sexy. Maybe you want to fuck me’ This is when I rescue your crumbling bones and you are grateful. I’ll slowly kiss you on the neck which you’ll offer just by standing there, but I’ll hesitate just in case this is not what you want. ‘Why are you waiting’’ you’ll 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. Don’t 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 it’s 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 artist’s own work, playful but also confrontational.