Artist Eddie Peake To Bring 'Sexuality And Voyeurism' To Tate Modern

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Tate Modern: more performance art to come
Tate Modern: more performance art to come

An artist best known for choreographing a naked five-a-side football match will be staging a live performance exploring "sexuality and voyeurism" inside the Tate Modern's giant tanks when they open this summer.

The 98ft-wide tanks, which contained oil before they were decommissioned in 1981, will become the world's first museum galleries permanently dedicated to live art, performance, installation and film.

Eddie Peake's work will go on show as part of a 15-week festival, which kicks off on July 18, to coincide with the Olympics.

The space will also put on a two-week event for young people featuring psychics, underground music DJs, and audience participation work using Twitter, Facebook and text messaging.

Earlier this year, London-based Peake asked a group of men to play "a serious game of football" wearing nothing but socks and football boots.

Tate Modern curator Kathy Noble said: "The football piece was very joyful. After a while the men became sculptures and you stopped thinking about their nakedness.

"Eddie's work is about the worship of the male body, and asks 'why do you want to look at this?'

"There is a Michelangelo moment, with him looking at the history of sculpture of the male body," she said.

She said his new work was likely to feature a large number of men, possibly in the nude.

The tanks are the first part of a £215 million project which will culminate in the opening of a new, adjoining gallery by December 2016. Over 75% of the total costs have been raised by Tate Modern, a former power station, so far.

The opening tanks programme will include a new installation by South Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim, who works with video and performance art, and Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker who will recreate her 1982 piece Fase: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich.

Tate Modern denied that it was "negating traditional painting and media" by focusing on performance art, saying that there was "a huge amount of excitement" for the type of work it will be showing.

Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota said of the tanks: "These spaces will be the first spaces dedicated permanently to live art and performance, in any museum building anywhere in the world...It's an incredible space...a very exciting moment for the Tate."

He added: "What we've been doing in the years since Tate Modern opened is responding to the way artists have evolved in their thinking. When given an opportunity to work outside the white cube and beyond the simple black box spaces, they will respond.
"It's about elevating something which for years has been in the basement or the corner of the programme to a central place."

Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon said: "Many museums in the world are looking at how to construct performances and how to show them....There's an incredible appetite for participation."

The 15-week festival runs at Tate Modern's tanks from 18 July 18 to 28 October 2012.

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