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.