City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

Hany Armanious: Selflok

5 September–30 November 2014

Like some giant mantlepiece littered with bits and bobs, Selflok (1994–2001) is a whimsical evocation of a pre-industrial artisanal past. A rig—which includes cauldrons, alembics, channels, and beer steins—rests on a makeshift platform of fake-wood polyester shelving. It has been described as a hobbit foundry, an elven distillery, Santa’s workshop, and a Middle Earth drug lab. Armanious looks behind the scenes, into the artist’s studio, or rather his fantasy of it. ‘It is almost as if we were witness to a primal scene in the life of the work’, wrote Australian art reviewer Eve Sullivan. Selflok is largely made from hot melt, an easily melted and shaped synthetic latex. Armanious first experimented with it during a residency at the 18th Street Arts Centre in LA. He presented Selflok in his first US solo exhibition, at LA’s UCLA Hammer Museum in 2001, and it is now in the collection of New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.