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ARTIST INTERVIEW

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Hany Armanious

Split Fountain 2009

Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by the artist, 2010

cast polyurethane, cast pewter, cast earthenware, pigment

H 81 W 93 D 45cm

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.

Split Fountain takes the form of a small, carved bedside table with spindly legs and pewter handles. It is a fully cast object, one which appears at second glance to possess facial features and to be strangely animated.

Split Fountain was shown in his 2009 exhibition Uncanny Valley, the title alluding to 1970s research into robotics by the Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori. When charting public attitudes toward robots with human attributes, Mori found that as the robots became more life-like, people’s empathy with the robots increased; but as the robots’ appearance improved and they became more human-like, unexpectedly people’s attitudes switched sharply from empathy to repugnance.

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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– Other works by the artist

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