Australian artist Daniel Agdag was born in Victoria in 1976 and is currently based in Melbourne. The son of Armenian immigrants, Agdag studied fine art before before turning his hand to filmmaking and received a Masters in Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts i
Jonathan LeVine Projects is pleased to present Stories I Haven’t Written Down, an exhibition of new work by Daniel Agdag in what will be his debut solo show in the United States.
Daniel Agdag creates fantastical sculptures of machines out of cardboard and tracing paper to explore his daydreams of what lurks inside our most basic structures. By highlighting the intricate gears and systems that are typically kept hidden under steel or concrete he draws attention to the complexity of everyday life. He elaborates:
“I feel that these days a lot of the world passes us by and most people are not curious about how our daily machines work, or don’t realize how dependent we are on these little machines. What I want to emphasize most is how these machines work. They perform a duty for us and in a funny way they are our life support. They’re all so important to us — even when we take energy for granted or the way our computers work, they’re all working for us. They are very complicated machines that do complicated things. I want to put that into the forefront of people’s minds.”
Agdag’s spends a great deal of time observing and absorbing structures, analyzing their peculiar details and functions, and develops eccentric narratives that serve as a mental blueprint from which he works. He’ll then cut hundreds of pieces of cardboard with a surgical scalpel and intuitively begin to build without a preconceived plan. He describes his process as ‘sketching with cardboard’, redesigning components multiple times until deemed suitable for their purpose, placement and appearance.
Two of the sculptures in Stories I Haven’t Written Down are flying vessel inspired by Agdag’s mother who migrated alone from Europe to Australia. These works romanticize the feeling of being alone in the sky, unsure of what adventures may come.