Sam Keogh

Born 1985 in Wicklow (Ireland),
lives and works in London (United Kingdom) and County Wicklow (Ireland)

Proliferating around a more than 230-tonne tunnel boring machine are sculptures, collages, paintings and videos, like parasitic vegetation, both wild and synthetic, tangled up with 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 100 pages of Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist. Subterranean tunnels and wormholes connect the work’s various elements. According to the artist, “the work suggests a re-ordering of botanical taxonomy and a stretching of urban ecology to include the landlord, the estate agent and processes of gentrification. But other histories ‘eat beside’ these processes. Sabotage — camouflaged acts of property destruction – wilfully slowing down work, getting things wrong, botching the job as a means to tear an opening in capitalistic time, to burrow into its hull, to grow beneath its foundations, quietly corrupting its structural integrity.”

With the support of Culture Ireland and the Kerlin Gallery
With the help of Mühlhäuser France

Sam Keogh, Knotworm, 2019. Courtesy de l’artiste et [of the artist and] Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. © Blaise Adilon