As part of the group exhibition Trouble in Outer Heaven: Portable Ops Plus at Southwark Park Galleries, 15 September – 31 October 2021, Sam Keogh’s performance ‘I Won’t Scatter Your Sorrow To The Heartless Sea’ loosely channels Southwark Park’s history as a munitions depot during the Second World War. Keogh engages the gallery’s charged location as an opportunity for covert infiltration and an exercise in the poetics of ‘cosplay’, a fan activity which sees its participants dress as their favourite video game characters. Adopting the mutated likeness of ‘Big Boss’, protagonist of several Metal Gear games, Keogh reproduces the action of sneaking into the exhibition’s opening event while ventriloquizing a monologue that reflects on cloned bodies, doubles, and doppelgängers. Weaving the tragic history of the Winchester rifle empire with the circuitries of contemporary cybernetics and the ghosts of Metal Gear’s fallen soldiers with the extractive residues of oil and blood.
Sam Keogh, ‘I Won’t Scatter Your Sorrow To The Heartless Sea’, 2021. Performance at Southwark Park Galleries, 12 September 2021. Video: Kyle Zeto