Sam Derounian makes sculptures that combine figures and objects in surreal assemblages resembling ‘characters’ in theatrical tableaux – that are often animated by synchronised lights and sound or performance. Sam also makes prints which often function like proposals or sketches for his installations.
His work – through symbolism and poetic allegory – attempts to communicate his concerns about how identity is constructed and controlled – often vis-a-vis social phenomena including labour, technology, language, education, and more. His installations attempt to visualise these often dysfunctional relationships between individuals and these non-human social phenomena – often symbolised by objects. In doing so he attempts to offer possibilities for better understanding and rethinking the social.
Recent work has focussed on how social structures and institutions have been designed based on industrial models/philosophies and has proposed horticulture as an alternative lens through which to imagine the social conditions needed for both individuals and the natural world to be sustained and thrive.