Collection

Selflok
Hany Armanious

1993-2001

Hany Armanious
b.
1962
Title:
Selflok
Production date:
1993-2001
Accession No:
2005/1
Measurements:
3500 x 1500mm (approximate)
Media:
Mixed media

Collection Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth

Sydney-based Egyptian artist, Hany Armanious, works in a wide range of media that includes drawing, photography, sculpture and installation. His ‘soft’ sculptures using ‘hot-melt’ modelling resin often play with scale and illusion, revealing overlooked details from everyday situations or locations.

His installation Selflok is an evolving work created from hot-melt adhesive and a wunderkammer-like collection of everyday, found objects. The work references fairy tales with ‘Elf brand’ shelving units and a host of elf hats scattered through the piece. The number of objects in Selflok that are weirdly out-of-scale — either too big or too small — also suggests states of hallucination or fantasy. Indeed, this is a recurring theme in Armanious’ work. In Assorted Muffins, also created in 2003, he signed an element of the work with the name ‘Carlos Castaneda’. Castaneda, author of The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968), introduced hallucinogenic-inspired quest philosophy and shamanism to popular culture. Given this, other elements in Selflok — such as the pipes, Central American pyramid and rabbit — start to gain more significance, resulting in a transformation of the work from fairytale fantasyland to pharmacological paradise.