Sam Keogh
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Lyon Biennale 2019

'Knotworm' was an installation of sculpture, collage and video proliferating around the base of a colossal 'Tunnel Boring Machine'.

A series of small toilets filled with cement support a colourful network of invasive plants and ‘roots’ made from shrink-wrapped trash. This scrappy web is in turn festooned with collage, double-sided paintings on paper and toilet roll. At the centre of the installation a row of tiny seats invite viewers to watch a video playing on a tv perched in the back of the TBM. Made with montaged smartphone and endoscopic camera footage, the video tunnels through three different locations in present day London - an old preschool under a motorway in Ladbroke Grove, a luxury apartment complex surrounding the Battersea Power Station, and a strange mutilated tree outside the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe.

‘Knotworm’ presents a wilfully convoluted mess of associations which twist, coil and fold around each other like the worms, roots and tunnels depicted. In this dense aggregate of information histories of colonialism are tangled through processes of gentrification; the Battersea Power Station is filled with shit; molluscs burrow into the hulls of slave ships and roots which can grow through concrete are quietly undermining the foundations of new-build luxury apartment blocks.