Kerlin Gallery is delighted to announce Sated Soldier, Sated Peasant, Sated Scribe an installation of new collage, ceramic and audio work by Sam Keogh.
A series of large red rectangular surfaces are clustered at one end of the gallery, festooned with drawings of flowers and hands as well as a giant inhaler, a life size anthropomorphic hotdog and a pig with a knife in its side. Ceramic sculptures act as paper weights for some of them – a roast duck, a boiled egg with feet, as well as bits of reclining bodies piled on top of each other. Elsewhere in the gallery, a lone figure lays on its side, its back to the viewer. His hip and shoulder seem sunk into the polished concrete floor. As you walk around his form, you see that his eyes are open, but pupiless and vacant. A man’s voice reverberates throughout the space. It’s telling a story which links these disparate images and objects together.
Sam Keogh’s Sated Peasant, Sated Soldier, Sated Scribe was originally commissioned for the basement galleries of Goldsmiths CCA in 2021. Slightly reconfigured for Kerlin, the exhibition of sculpture, collage and audio draws on pre-modern myths and motifs of abundance. The medieval myth of Cockaigne; a land of plenty where food is bountiful (it rains cheese), work abolished, and sexuality liberated features in both verse and visual traditions; most powerfully for Keogh in Bruegel the Elder’s painting The Land of Cockaigne, 1567, which shows three figures sprawled in a circular motif under a table bearing food and drink in a rural idyll (a wandering pig in the background bears a knife on its back to aid ease of carving).