Naked Dancing And Rollerskating: The Bizarre World Of Eddie Peake

Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop at Curve, Barbican ★★☆☆☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 28 months ago
Naked Dancing And Rollerskating: The Bizarre World Of Eddie Peake Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop at Curve, Barbican 2
The bright and attention grabbing installation, including the scaffold walkway overhead. Photo: Justin Piperger, courtesy Barbican Art Gallery

Eddie Peake is one of many young artists who grew up with, and therefore have had their art influenced by, the internet. Their art is chaotic and filled with attention grabbing chunks where some aspects, but rarely everything, chime with the audience. It's a genre we've termed 'vomit art': this doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, just that it throws up tons of ideas and is usually overwhelming.

Peake regularly involves sexuality and nudity in his work and this show is no exception — those of a more conservative leaning should give it a miss. Everything in this article is safe for work but the exhibition itself involves a lot of nudity and sexual references. There is a figure on roller skates gliding through the Curve space, while wearing a sheer onesie and two naked dancers acting out some rather aggressive dance moves, and occasionally rolling around the floor laughing.

But these aren't the only parts vying for attention. There are purple perspex bears wearing scarves, a mannequin with a giant phallus and bright pink mural across the entire length of the outside wall. It's very in-your-face — and that's not to mention the scaffold that can be climbed to view it all from a different angle.

It's certainly unforgettable as the nude dancers come close to visitors, and often stared at us in quite an intimidating fashion, but is there anything more behind this work? The chaotic threads hint at Peake's childhood and various influences but it never comes together to form anything meaningful, and so it's hard for visitors to feel anything other than to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Eddie Peak: The Forever Loop is on at Curve, Barbican until 10 January. Entrance is free and the gallery is open 11am-8pm Saturday to Wednesday, and 11am-9pm on Thursdays and Fridays.  Also on at Barbican is the excellent Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

For more art stories see our guide to Frieze week, September's most talked about exhibitions and our top art openings for October.

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The dancers pose within the installation. Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
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A curved and distorted model that the dancers emulate in their performance. Photo: Justin Piperger, courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
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The sheer-suited roller skater glides through the installation. Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
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A perspex bear wears a scarf as one of the dancers is reflected in it. Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images courtesy Barbican Art Gallery

Last Updated 12 October 2015