Exhibition room 6. Hany Armanious

Hany Armanious produces installations, sculptures, and works on paper that engagingly investigate the relationships between artist and artwork. [...] Armanious appropriates an unlikely mix of notions with an obsessive relationship to form. In his provocative work uncanny actions take place upon unexpected materials, resulting in enigmatic objects, scenes and associations. He turns the process of casting into a witty, symbolic system, through which he detours and digresses, fostering both bemusement and engagement. Armanious’ choice and treatment of materials are bound up in layers of allegory. Nothing is sacred; his mergers of forms, substances and metaphors are perverse. Casting is always on the agenda, employed to sample and connect disparate textures and concepts.

Source: Foxy Production www.foxyproduction.com/artists/453/text

The Australian artist Hany Armanious addressed the ubiquity of the “Marie-Thérèse” images while exploring issues of simulation and authenticity in Effigy of an Effigy with Mirage. Armanious chose Picasso’s sculpture Head of a Woman (1931) almost at random because “the Picasso head has become an incredibly familiar motif in visual culture.” [...] Unlike painting, sculpture can be editioned, and this one exists in at least four versions: an original plaster, a plaster cast, a bronze cast, and a cast in cement.

Well aware of sculpture’s potential for duplication, Armanious began his work by producing several copies of copies of this sculpture, cut or casted out in cheap or inappropiate materials and from small photographs printed off the Internet. This process captures both the popularity of Picasso’s work and the radical difference between the artist’s actual work and the degraded versions widely available.

Source: exhibition catalogue for “Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions,” Michael FitzGerald