Ink Agop has worked on diverse methods of video experimentation and presentation for the past 3 years with residencies and exhibitions worldwide. She intentionally incorporate elements related to a philosophy of communion with nature with the latest advances of technologies in her video and installation work. She employs these diverse media to explore, contemplate, and ultimately relate our place in anthropogenic society.
Having completed residencies in Berlin and Southeast Asia, Agop is expanding her practice of exploring the primitive, the original, and the essential qualities that are common to humanity which she terms “core.” This notion of core is found in opposition to “body,” or the external qualities that represent us. For her, these elements can be disregarded, or at least deemphasized through collective ritualistic practices.
A sincere reverence for all things natural is at the heart of her work and relates to Agop’s cultural heritage in the Japanese Shinto religion. In Shinto, humans are viewed as equivalent beings in a total system in which animals and even natural objects are deified; a concept that also figures heavily in the Western anthropological notion of Animism.
Agop embraces new technologies, but rather than relying on technique itself, she fuses and blends them with organic materials. The result is that natural elements and primitive technologies refigure in her work when it comes to installation and exhibition. Agop’s work activates the duality of high-tech approaches combined with these natural materials such as wood, stone, and earth. This is accomplished by implementing a studied and insightful range of techniques from references to early cinematic presentations of the Zoetrope to the latest drone technology that housed the camera used to record herself in “there and here 2.” With these unusual combinations of the natural world and new media, Agop offers an an alternative, and possibly even an antidote, to our high-tech world.
These motifs were strongly evident during Agop’s recent solo exhibition at SomoS Art House in Berlin in 2016. The exhibition, entitled “Overlooking I,” sought to harmoniously represent apparent opposites such as Shintoism and rope bondage, and concepts such as isolation and unity. These themes are further reflected upon in her latest project entitled core/body. Here, Agop poetically states her aim as being to “Throw off the society / Throw off the body / We just become core / And then we create new body to be dressed up / Identity out of core / People meet people / And it becomes a society.”
Despite all of our cherished individuality, what remains at the core, or deepest, most basic level, is our instinctive, primal, primitive, and primeval nature as a human animal. It is these shared rituals and desires that she seeks to unearth in all of her video and installation projects. Her goal is to engage this aspect of all of us that, despite our increasingly technological existence, remains at the core of the human experience, and one which we can access through transcendentalism, dance, communion, and most of all through art.