1. Excerpt from:
HD video, colour/sound 26 min.
© Amie Siegel. Courtesy of the Artist and Thomas Dane Gallery
Research materials, artwork documentation, stills and textual excerpts from Body Scripts (2015), Genealogies (2016), The Noon Complex (2016), 2022
© Amie Siegel. Courtesy the Artist and Thomas Dane Gallery
Amie Siegel has long been interested in the lives of artefacts and objects – how they gain cultural meaning and value and how this travels in time, oscillating between social fashioning and cultural heritage. Her works often unfold through juxtaposition and repetition to create a richly layered constellation of images and ideas, allowing the resulting narrative to unfold associatively in the viewer’s consciousness. The artist’s film Genealogies (2015), is screening on pompeiicommitment.org for two weeks from 28 April – 10 May 2022, on the occasion of the artist’s participation in Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters.
Genealogies combines novels, movies, images, advertising and soundtracks from multiple sources and creates a kaleidoscopic investigation of desire, architecture and the female body, exposing how these are visualised in cinema, and harnessed by advertising and media. Extending from the choreography of Brigitte Bardot famously sunning her backside on the Villa Malaparte’s roof terrace in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris (Contempt), Siegel opens a pandora’s box of artwork provenance, remake and copy. From Wilhelm Jensen’s novella Gradiva, to Freud, de Chirico, Rossellini, Curzio Malaparte, Moravia, Resnais, Robbe-Grillet, Pink Floyd and the Beastie Boys to images by the brands Hugo Boss and Persol, Genealogies maps a broadly layered trajectory of ideas shared and reprised, speculating on homage, influence and originality and, ultimately, drawing together a genealogical lineage of adaptation, appropriation and recurrence stripped from hierarchical order.
When the narrator of Siegel’s film explains how the movie Le Mépris was loosely based Alberto Moravia’s novel Il disprezzo (Contempt) – which in turn had as starting point Wilhelm Jensen’s novel Gradiva, about a German archaeologist obsessed with the figure of a woman depicted in an ancient relief from Pompeii – an eruption of associations unfolds. Time itself becomes both subject and material, leading the viewer through a journey into layered cultural production and temporal twists of ideas and locations, highly relevant to a site like Pompeii.
Following the two week long screening of Genealogies, a collection of visual and textual excerpts populate the pompeiicommitment.org portal. These include images from Siegel’s series of thirty-four framed works on paper, Body Scripts (2015) – which use the avergage color of the sea in Le Mépris painted onto the pages of Alberto Moravia’s novel to highlight only the passages describing the female protagoist’s body– and exhibition images of Siegel’s multi-channel video installation The Noon Complex (2016) in which the artist digitally removed the figure of Brigitte Bardot from the corresponding scenes in Godard’s film. The location portrayed in the film – the Villa Malaparte on the Italian island of Capri – is thus underscored, lending the sequences of tracking shots, directed at a now absent actress, an uncanny feeling, calling to mind the ruins of Pompeii. CA-SB
Home page image: Amie Siegel, Genealogies, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Thomas Dane Gallery
Amie Siegel (Chicago 1974. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) works variously with film, video, photography, sculpture, painting and installation. She is known for her layered, meticulously constructed works that trace and perform the undercurrents of systems of value, cultural ownership and image-making.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Medium Cool, Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX (2019); In Focus: Amie Siegel – Provenance, Tate St. Ives, England (2018); Winter, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2017); Strata, South London Gallery, England (2017); 12×12: Amie Siegel, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2017); Interiors, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USA (2017); Quarry, Audain Gallery, Simon Frasier University, Vancouver, Canada (2017); Double Negative, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany (2016). Siegel has participated in numerous group exhibitions and her work has been featured in the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2021); 12th Gwangju Biennial, Korea (2018); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Glasgow International, Scotland (2016); 5th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand (2013); and the Whitney Biennial (2008). Her films have screened at the Rottderdam International Film Festival (2019), Toronto International Film Festival (2014), Berlin International Film Festival (2014, 2006, 2003), Cannes International Film Festival (2011), and the New York Film Festival (2009).