Melbourne-based Daniel Agdag (previously here and here) produces fantastical models of machines as a way to explore his own daydreams of what may be lurking inside our most basic structures, the machinery kept hidden under steel or concrete. Agdag wants to draw attention to the complexity of the everyday, highlighting the gears and systems deep inside the objects that make our lives more convenient. Agdag builds these imagined contraptions from cardboard rather than metal, meticulously constructing the objects to appear much more durable than their actual materials suggest.
“Aesthetically, the driving force behind the creation of works I make stem from a need to see and imagine objects, machines and environments in a way I’d like to see them, to imagine how I think they work and expose their inner workings,” said Agdag. “All too often, the most amazing feats of human engineering are kept hidden and disguised under shiny facades or reinforced concrete.”
The flying vessels are also inspired by Agdag’s mother who migrated alone from Europe to Australia. The sculptures romanticize the feeling of being alone in the sky, unsure of what adventures may come. “I think of the airships as a vehicle to escape with, an attempt to cross a divide, to be the captain of my own journey,” said Agdag.
Agdag’s last exhibition was the group exhibition “Model Urban” at Manningham Art Gallery in Australia last fall, and he showed work with MARS Gallery at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair last September. You can see more of his detailed cardboard sculptures and in-progress works on his Instagram.