Sam Kissajukian returns to Perth with a condensed-but-expanded iteration of his award-winning show, 300 Paintings, which combines comedy, art, and lived experiences of mental illness into standout highbrow standup. 300 Paintings began as as examination of how one comedian (Sam Kissajukian, in case that isn’t obvious) became manically compelled to pursue an artistic calling. The framing of his narrative creates a uniquely hilarious window through which to view comedy, art, and the human experience.
Commenting on the clarity of comedy and the dishonesty of art, Sam takes his audience on a Powerpoint journey through a five-month manic episode. There is sufficient distance between the episode’s after-effects, and the delivery of this show, for Sam to zoom out from the experience itself, to view it from multiple angles. Sam’s visual aid takes the form of an artistic time capsule slideshow, which includes an atmospheric interpretation of The Last Supper, and a colourful nude of a fellow comedian.
Whether pitching inventions to hedge funds, or creating wearable anti-art statements (or wearable art anti-statements?) Sam’s subversive thinking is a source of inspiration, amusement, and enthralling food for thought. From the creative benefits of sleep deprivation to the power precipitating an existential crisis in sentient mould, the audience are constantly in on the jokes, as Sam’s narrative enables them to see the world through the comedic and artistic lenses of his brilliant and hilarious mind.
Paraphrasing his original show to begin with, Sam eventually expands into the figurative physicality and ultimate freedom of digital space. A comparatively chaotic (in a good way) final 15 minutes messes with the subject/object dichotomy in a meta-analytical exploration of the absence of context. The final section of the show - which functions as an addendum to the original 300 Paintings - is the epilogue you didn’t know you needed.