Media Release: May, 2007.
For the last twenty years Hany Armanious has been an increasingly key figure in Australian art. City Gallery Wellington is pleased to present Morphic Resonance, the most comprehensive showing of his work in New Zealand to date. Armanious draws on images and objects from a diverse range of sources, morphing and overlaying styles and vocabularies to build playful, evocative and unexpected new configurations. His associations are intentionally far-fetched and comical.
The muffin, a curiously ubiquitous foodstuff (of ever-growing scale) is investigated by Armanious in Magic Muffin Mountain (2003-06), with a mound of voluminous muffins.
While most of the works in this exhibition are recent (2003-07) earlier works highlight connections running through Armanious’ practice. Teleplastic Emanations (1991-2) is underscored by the reality that gentrification is reliant on the displacement of previous residents. Its architectural neatness and lush planting dissolve and bleed.
Devices for simplifying our life at work and at home have been re-invented; in Blindness (2006) what at first appears as simple home work station complete with sexy new Apple Mac, morphs into a low—tech conflation of techno-lust, with the computer being made from a Manilla folder, and the lower shelving area home now to a raft of tequila bottles. Year of the Pig Sty (2007) also explores mechanisms of production.
Riverdance (2006) is the bandsaw from which individual strips of black vinyl sawn from a single roll snake across the walls and floor of the Gallery. The Danger in Extracting Meaning (2006) features another machine—a snow globe. Literary and cinematic associations abound, but like the fake snow, refuse to settle or offer a single reading.
Morphic Resonance has been developed in association with Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane. A new monograph on Armanious’ work produced in partnership with IMA, Brisbane will be launched during the exhibition.
Biography: The Sydney-based artist has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. He was included in the Aperto section of the 1993 Venice Biennale, the 1994 Sydney Biennale and the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale. In 1998 he won the Möet and Chandon Fellowship. In 2001, his major installation work Selflok was showcased at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. In 2006 Armanious participated in the group exhibition Surface Wave at Foxy Production in New York. His recent work in New Zealand includes Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s Turns in Arraba (2005).
City Gallery Wellington
Civic Square, Wellington
12 May – 29 July 2007