[December 21st 2020]
And, to paraphrase in a way that’s definitely too brief and reductive, Western philosophy relied on observing these strict binaries, from Plato to Aristotle to Descartes to Hegel to the Nazi Heidegger. Derrida interrupted this sequence with his idea of ‘différance’, suggesting that stuff exists just because it’s different from other stuff. Nothing ‘came first’. The sequencing of things, the idea of privileged binaries, even the construction of ‘time’ itself, is a fallacious human projection from an impossible or imagined standpoint outside of time.
Derrida’s implied idea that there’s no objective original ‘truth’ behind our perceptions of the world
Eddie Peake, Where You Belong, 2017, White Cube Hong Kong
For his 2017 exhibition Where You Belong, Peake produced four new groups of work: the first was a series of abstract canvases in which spray-painted, acid-coloured lines create overlapping misaligned frames within the picture. Leaving the centre white, the empty space or void at their heart can be read in different ways: an area of possibility, like an empty cinema screen waiting for the projection to start; a material or existential vacuum; or even as a proxy for the ultimate infinite void – death.
A second group of paintings are equally charged and vibrant in colour, but these were populated by schematic and cartoon figures. In these works there is an undercurrent of darker themes of depression and psychosis, indicating the point at which exuberance tips into mania. One character, a mysterious, muscular, cartoon faun holds up a crystal ball, offering-up to the viewer a ‘painting-within-the-painting’ of images of autobiographical significance. For the artist, the faun represents an alter-ego; a manic, playful anarchic character that stands in as narrator, choreographer and witness.
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