Sam Derounian makes theatrical, audio-visual installations consisting of sculptures combining figures and objects in surreal assemblages or ‘characters’ – which are animated by spotlights, sound, or performance. Sam is also a printmaker, his prints function as sketches or costume/set design for his installations.
Sam’s work – through symbolism and poetic allegory – reflects on how identity is influenced by social structures and phenomena such as labour, technology, language, education, and more. His installations visualise these, often dysfunctional, relationships between the self and the social – symbolised by the interaction between symbolic objects and the human body. In doing so Sam’s work offers possibilities for better understanding and rethinking the social.
Sam’s recent work has focussed on how education has been designed based on industrial models of social organisation and proposes horticulture instead as an alternative model through which to reimagine the social to ensure the future flourishing of both individuals and the natural world.