Amie Siegel

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The New Yorker: Goings on About Town
September, 2013



Le Corbusier’s concrete complex in Chandigarh, India, is a masterpiece of design—down to its wood-and-leather furniture, which collectors crave. In “Provenance,” a slyly political, structurally impeccable forty-two-minute film, Siegel tracks the trade in reverse. The piece opens in luxurious houses and yachts in the U.S. and Europe, then moves to auctions in Paris and Chicago (where two chairs fetch sixty thousand dollars), and on to a restorer’s workshop in Brussels. The film ends at the now ramshackle source, where people go about their business—filing files, teaching classes—and the furniture’s value resides in its function.