Eddie Peake: Recreates Naked Five-A-Side Football Performance Piece For Euro 2024

eddie peake

Eddie Peake’s practice includes painting, sculpture, installation, video, and photography. However, he is most famous for staging performances such as “Touch,” a five-a-side naked football match at the Royal Academy, and now restaged in Berlin to celebrate Euro 2024. Eddie Peake’s five-a-side naked football performance piece, Portent, drew crowds last weekend at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW).

“Portent invites a critical engagement with both the seriousness and absurdity of masculinity, as well as the varied possibilities surrounding sex, sexuality, and gender within the traditionally male, macho, and heteronormative arena of football,” reads a statement from the project. Notably, the only items of clothing differentiating the teams are socks and trainers, as this performance is conducted in the nude. The Euro 2024 Football & Cultural Foundation and the German Federal Government have funded this agile and provocative piece as part of their Ballet of the Masses–On Football and Catharsis program.

Eddie Peake ‘Portent’ 2024

Portent is the fourth iteration of this work, which received a new title at every location where it was first staged in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The performance was later staged at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2015 and as part of the Volcano Extravaganza, Naples, Italy, in 2017.

‘Ballet of the Masses–On Football and Catharsis’ is funded by the EURO 2024 Football & Cultural Foundation and the German Federal Government.

Eddie Peake, born in London in 1981, is a prominent contemporary artist known for his provocative and multidisciplinary approach. His diverse practice spans painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, and performance art. Peake’s work often explores themes of identity, sexuality, and the body, challenging societal norms and conventions.

Peake studied at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London, where he honed his skills and developed his unique artistic voice. He later completed a Master’s degree at the Royal Academy Schools in London, further establishing his reputation within the art world.

One of Peake’s most iconic works is the performance piece “Touch,” which debuted in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Arts. This five-a-side naked football match drew significant attention for its bold exploration of masculinity, vulnerability, and the performative aspects of sports. The performance has since been restaged in various locations, each time adapting to its new environment and audience.

Peake’s art is characterised by its playful yet critical engagement with serious themes. His installations and performances often blur the lines between public and private, inviting viewers to confront their perceptions and assumptions. For example, in his ongoing project “Portent,” Peake examines the intersections of masculinity, sexuality, and the cultural significance of football, using the sport as a lens through which to explore broader societal issues.

Beyond performance art, Peake’s paintings and sculptures also reflect his interest in the body and identity. His vibrant, often erotic works challenge traditional representations of gender and sexuality, encouraging viewers to question normative narratives.

Peake’s work has been exhibited internationally, with notable shows at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Volcano Extravaganza in Naples, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. His contributions to contemporary art have been recognised with critical acclaim and several awards.

In addition to his artistic practice, Peake is an influential figure in the art community. He contributes to discussions on the role of art in society and the importance of challenging cultural norms. His work inspires and provokes, making him a significant voice in contemporary art.

Top Photo: Photo of the British artist Eddie Peake Creative Commons by Lost Delivery 99 Insert: Eddie Peake, Portent (2024) Photo: Jamila K. Grote/HKW

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