Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hany Armanious Year of the Pig Sty

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on Earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this Earth.

-Jean Paul Sartre

Foxy Productions
Extended through Dec. 15th.

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Hany Armanious, the egyptian artist who brings us Year of the Pig Sty(up through December 15th) has been making mysterious installation-thingies for sometime if I am to believe the two essays I picked up from the silent and comparatively sterile back room of Foxy Productions in Chelsea. I found that Sarte quote in my least favorite essay of the two, by Jason Markou, and it really helped me put Armanious's mess into perspective. You have to love writing, communication in general really, for speeding up what would no doubt be a long and arduous journey of becoming acquainted with Hany Armanious's oeuvre only to find that the real meat of the matter is that he's looking for an answer himself.

Looking hard from the look of it. The Year of the Pig Sty has brought so much mud into the gallery that you are able to imagine you are both inside and outside at once. The lighting is low (Literally. One light is actually hung only about a foot from the floor.), you get the immediate feeling you are witnessing a mess you should not witness. Perhaps you are in the lair of some super-demon, an artist who has gone completely mad, or a pig who has become obsessed with casting his own crocs, a shoe described admiringly by Mr Markou as "the lightweight one-piece foam shoe that replaced the Birkenstock as the last word in functional therapeutic footwear." The absence of any pig was felt more dearly then the absence of anything else. The mud had all dried out and I had to wonder if it was wet during the first week of the show.

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I was in the mood to witness the display of Mr. Armanious's mess, so I won't blame you for turning up your nose and going on your own quest for more concrete answers. You won't find them in Year of the Pig Sty, but you will find chaos and confusion and someone who is searching, and you might find relief, as I did, that you are not the only one in the world leaving behind a mess of unanswerable questions.

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Originally posted on artblog.

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