Born 1985 in Wicklow (Ireland),
lives and works in London (United Kingdom) and County Wicklow (Ireland)
For the Biennale, Sam Keogh takes on the colossal cutter-head of a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), constructing a parasitic installation of sculpture, collage and video around its base. A system of ‘prolapsed roots’ made of vacuum packed soil, trash and buddleia plants sprout from toilet bowls and penetrate clusters of painting and collage. Tangled into this structure are images of Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant which can grow through concrete; a wood-boring ‘shipworm’ mollusc which can infest the wooden hulls of boats; and the larvae of a moth which has chewed through about 150 pages of Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist. Also hanging from this structure is a projector, throwing a film onto the curved underside of the TBM. Subterranean tunnels, roots and worms connect the work’s various elements and pull the viewer through a composted aggregate of histories, places and materials.