'Wall panel', 2017, cast polyurethane resin, fiberglass
Born Dublin (IE), 1985
For the most part, big budget sci-fi presents a hyperbolic version of now set in the future, where either selected earthlings have managed to reestablish a homogenous society safely beamed away from the scourged earth, or the lumpen population strive and fight for the most basic means of sustenance. In such scenarios and variations, usually the current organizational structures that sustain and eventually lead to these perceived futures remain unquestioned, and as such the result is anything but surprising.
Sam Keogh’s studio resembles the interior of a starship. Its walls, made from painted wood and molded plastic panels, sit somewhere between a sci-fi film set and sculpture. Collages cover their surfaces, and there's a table of sculptures resembling something between slime molds and architectural models made from sperm. In the center of the room, the performer wakes up in a cryopod displaying symptoms of premature thawing; memory loss, confusion, frostbite and pains he can neither locate nor name. He tries to make sense of his surrounding environment, where he is and when he is. His efforts to reassemble fragmented memories combine with descriptions of androids with liquid latex blood, the bacteria feeding on the ship's walls and a soviet philosopher's idea to circumvent the heat death of the universe through a re-ignition of the big bang. As the performance progresses the status of the walls, objects and collages flip between experiments in a studio, to props in a performance and artworks made by the character in the cryopod. In the disjointed gap between the two aforementioned futures, a sticky cognitive map begins to emerge.