Sam Derounian creates immersive installations with objects resembling characters – animated by lights and voice-overs, as well as prints that act as sketches for these installations.

In his work the figure represents the individual, while objects represent abstract social ideas, structures or institutions. By combining these elements, Derounian shows how these social forces effect the individual, often in a harmful or problematic way.

Derounian’s solo exhibition Nesting, Watering, Picturing, for example, explores how the abstract concept of ‘work’ affects the individual, through an installation consisting of three figures with mask-like objects placed on their heads, each representing different forms of work prevalent in society today.

More recent work, Industrial and Horticultural Metaphors, has focused on how the individual’s well-being, as well as the natural world, is negatively affected by ideologies built into education and the labor market – by thinking of the individual and nature as resources that must be exploited. With inspiration from radical pedagogy, the exhibition proposes, instead of the factory, a garden as a template for how these institutions should be designed.