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Hany Armanious

Second hand political 1995

Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of the artist, 2001

wood, metal, ceramics, plastic, papier mache, polystyrene, cotton (14 sculpture installation)

About the Artwork

Hany Armanious is a sculptor who explores ideas of doubling and artifice through the transformation of objects. Utilising the process of casting, he creates simulacra of insigificant everyday objects, investing them with enigmatic value. Fastidious explorations of form, they are often decorative as well as humorous.

Second hand political is an installation about the basics of survival – food, clothing and shelter. Ambiguous and nonsensical, where one material masquerades as another, it involves a slippage of both materials and meaning across categories, suggesting that meaning is contingent on language and representation. In this collection of small objects set on timber plinths of different heights, sticks and bark resemble a camp fire, timber slices are stacked into bread bags which are illustrated with trees, ceramic mugs resemble hollow logs, and a small wooden elephant is a tooth pick holder.

References

Quotation: Hany Armanious, Hany Armanious: The Golden Thread, SBS STVDIO Documentary, 2011

My work … needs time. Something that’s seemingly fairly straight forward and self-explanatory actually is full of riddles … incidental things speak to me.

Hany Armanious

Hany Armanious

– About the artist

b.1962

Hany Armanious was born in Ismalia, Egypt in 1962 and migrated to Sydney with his family in 1967. He lives and works in Sydney. Armanious is a sculptor whose work is predominantly concerned with the magical properties of the casting process. Many of his works deal with the alchemical transformation of one object into another via what the artist has described as the ‘cult of casting’.

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