Florence Peake: The Keeners
19 Sep – 10 Nov 2015
Free & open to all
SPACE Mare Street

Performance in London Fields: Sat 19 Sept, 12–4pm
Exhibition Opening and New Gallery Launch: Thurs 1 Oct, 6–8pm

The Keeners takes its title from the notion of ‘keening’, where professional mourners in Irish and Celtic traditions grieve the losses of others on their behalf. Peake’s work abstracts this tradition and presents a collective grief in the form of a public performance to mourn the commodification and instrumentalisation of art by the corporate world, enacted by a chorus of dancers on a glossy mirrored dance floor.

Collected through a public open call, the dancers mourn every one of the submitted personal losses. The performance is situated in London Fields, which is classified as common land (Lammas Rights for grazing animals), and links to its history as a plague burial site.

Highlighting a framework of collective support and a platform for discussing the notion of ‘artwashing’, personal ethics and moral dilemmas the piece is also a playful and slyly ironic comment on the hypocrisy that faces us in daily life.

A commissioned essay on The Keeners written by Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt will be available online and at SPACE.

Florence Peake is a London-based artist and choreographer. With extensive training in dance and a background in painting, her performance practice combines a variety of media—from drawing to sculpture—in relation to the moving body. Site and audience, live and recorded text, wit and humour are key to her work.

Her interdisciplinary projects, made both independently and collaboratively, have been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally since 1995 in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Prague, Sweden and Latvia. Peake’s work has also been commissioned and shown at prestigious venues such as the National Portrait Gallery (2008), National Review of Live Art (2009), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2012), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (2013) and Hayward Gallery (2014).