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Hany Armanious | the artist






The artist Hany Armanious
Born 1962, Ismalia, Egypt.
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

Style and technique of the artist: Installation art, Venice Biennale,

Armanious frequently utilises the process of casting to reconsider interrelationships between likeness, resemblance, material and function. These often digressive investigations are frequently imbued with an oblique form of mysticism. Armanious’s fake artifacts evoke both playful analogies and metaphysical problems that ultimately remain unresolved.


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Everything is not as it seems. The materials and attributes we thought we ‘owned’ by right of their tight experiential association with certain familiar objects (e.g. the cardboardness of a cardboard box or the polystyreneness of a polystyrene one), are cast by Armanious into a different reality and our trust in our own understanding of things is thrown. Indeed his facsimile copies of each component of his various sculptural assemblages are so lifelike that we as viewers are cast into the ‘valley’ of the exhibition’s title. Uncanny Valley is a robotics term that describes the threshold crossed when a robot has become so lifelike in its appearance as to be almost indistinguishable from its human model, precipitating a sudden drop – on the graph – in the hitherto increasing levels of empathy of the human toward the humanoid. Waxing empathy switches quickly to repulsion...

Many of the elements of Armanious’ ‘pragmatic metaphysics’ are to be found in Selflok (1994–2001), a project composed, decomposed and recomposed in four versions over the course of nearly a decade – a meditation of Duchampian duration and magnitude. Its origin is a single problem: if the sculpture rests on a pedestal, what does the pedestal rest upon? Upon another pedestal, of course. Selflok is an infinite regress, in which it’s pedestals all the way down...

Based in Sydney, egyptian sculptor hany armanious presents 11 works in the exhibition 'the golden thread,' on display in australian pavilion at the venice art biennale 2011. With a sculptural practice grounded in the process of casting, the artist meticulously remakes everyday objects in unexpected materials