Live performances unfold in intricate built environments: installations incorporating diverse materials, from collages and painted panels to plastic skeletons, ceramics to gunge-soaked computer desks, sculptures of severed hands and discarded apple cores, plants and bits of rubbish. These grotesque concoctions of image, object and detritus serve as props and visual cues for performances, but spill over with idiosyncratic detail and extraneous information – the physical remnants of a fictional world, they present an indeterminate space in which materials, memories and affects begin to smudge into each other.
Keogh’s performances interweave research on diverse topics into meandering semi-fictional monologues that make surprising connections between political movements, biological processes, archaeology, housing, science fiction, or pop-cultural phenomena. Like the sprawling and rebellious environments that house them, they present “a strange and abject cosmology of trash, contamination and revolt”.
Sam Keogh’s work has been exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, Paris; Tate Modern, London; GrazMuseum, Graz; Dortmunder Kunstverein; the Public School, New York; Eli & Edythe Broad Museum, Michigan State University; Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp; Lismore Castle Arts; Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Project Arts Centre and Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin. His most recent solo exhibitions include Goldsmiths CCA, London; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Illuminations Gallery, Maynooth; 1646, The Hague and Mao Jihong Arts Foundation, Shanghai (all 2018). Keogh has participated in biennial exhibitions including the Lyon Biennale, steirischer herbst, EVA International and Glasgow International.