Eddie Peake’s work screened on Piccadilly Circus

Eddie Peake’s art includes performance, video, photography, painting, sculpture, sound and installation. For its third edition, CIRCA has invited the artist to replace the adverts with a new commission screened every evening from 1 – 31 December at 20:20 – 20:22 GMT on the Piccadilly Lights giant screen.

A Dream Of A Real Memory features three characters set within a green screen cyclorama. Primarily, abstract movement and dance are employed as metaphoric means to engage ideas of tension and power dynamics implicit in relationships between people, or in individuals’ internal pursuit of their own self-identity. The footage of the sixty-two-minute video work, screened in daily two-minute episodes over 31 days, is reversed, beginning at “the end” of the performance, showing the performers’ tired bodies and messy makeup, and ending at “the beginning” of the performance.

‘The work employs the specific characteristics of the Piccadilly screen to create a narrative work that also criticises (laterally, not explicitly) the manipulative means by which capitalist machinery such as advertising entwines itself within our lives, deliberately playing on our desires, our anxieties and so on. I like that this is a work about relationships (in the broadest possible sense of the word) and the looping thought patterns of an obsessive, depressive or psychotic mind, placed within that context.’

A Dream Of A Real Memory is a development of Peake’s live performance and performance-to-camera works, as well as a continuation of his interest in the screen as a physical object and conduit for the blending of multiple realities. The green screen is featured as a deliberate visible element and could be a fourth character within the drama, or perhaps even its protagonist. Normally an unseen functional device of cinema, TV and advertising, the green screen is experienced here as prominently as the performers, a block of infinite green framing their movements.

Created by artist Josef O’Connor, CIRCA commissions a different artist each month to present new ideas that consider our world circa 2020. Each artist is invited to create a new work for Europe’s largest screen that offers an innovative and exciting way for people to engage with art, both outside and online, in a safe and socially distanced way.

Having generated over 4 million hits since its launch in October 2020, CIRCA is using its digital platform throughout December to support the work of London-based charity ‘Choose Love’ where visitors can buy essential items such as sleeping bags, warm winter clothes and waterproof tents for refugees.