7.March.2024

Adelaide Fringe Review THE LIST: Museum of Modernia Art Review – A Uniquely Human Experience

Adelaide Fringe Review, Sam Kissajukian’s art show is big on joy, laughs and colour

★★★★★

There’s a strong immersive and interactive strand to this year’s Adelaide Fringe, blurring lines between audience and performer as well as between style and genre. There’s no better example of this than Sam Kissajukian’s new show at ILA, Adelaide’s Centre of Immersive Light and Art presented at The Light Room Studio which blends stand-up, art and immersive LED lights to create a form we didn’t know we needed: an art show that’s big on joy, laughs and colour.

The show begins with a self-guided wander through just some of the art produced by the former stand-up comedian during the manic phase of bipolar disorder (he created 300 large-scale pieces in just five months). We’re then gently invited to take our seats, so images of the art can wrap around us as Kissajukian talks. Part monologue and part art lesson, naturally his stand-up skills come into their own here. He’s fast and funny (and probably too sweet for the cut-throat world of comedy, even though he tells us ‘comedy is truth and art is lies’). Discussing his struggles with mental ill-health, downplaying his obvious talent, his tales of pitching his inventions to a New York hedge fund (he also decided to invent something every day for 30 days), photoshoots and depression are touching and self-aware. It would be easy to play this for laughs, and yes, it is a funny show, but the humour comes from a place of shared humanity rather than stereotypes or stigmas. It just wouldn’t, you suspect, work in anyone else’s hands. The whole thing ends with a guided tour around the art, with time for questions, wrapping up a uniquely human experience that not only blurs lines, but sweeps away barriers.

Read the full review in The List here. Find out more about Sam’s show presented at ILA, Adelaide’s Centre of Immersive Light and Art at The Light Room Studio for Adelaide Fringe 2024 here. 

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