Amie Siegel

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Bombsite.com
2 October 2013
by Mónica de la Torre



Amie Siegel’s exhibition Provenance, her first at Simon Preston Gallery, might close this Sunday, October 6, yet it constitutes only one of the stages of a larger project that tracks the global flow of commodities accruing cultural and economic capital as they become extracted from their primary context. Specifically, the eponymous video retraces the steps that furniture designed in the 1950s by Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier for a state compound in Chandigarh, India, travelled in order to arrive at refined and enviably pristine interiors in Europe and the United States. Nothing but Siegel’s exquisitely eloquent editing betrays the intricate provenance of the chairs, tables, and desks mutely inhabiting rooms (and even yachts) alongside knowingly curated art collections. The second video in the exhibition, Circuit (2013), is a loop of an exhibition at Chandigarh’s Natural History Museum, and speaks to prior imaginings of origin and their dislocation in the future.

On October 19, Siegel will insert Provenance in the same circuit whereby the Chandigarh’s furniture was traded by auctioning the video at Christie’s in London. Filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson and Siegel will reflect on the project’s outcome in BOMB’s winter issue.