Amie Siegel

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Frieze.com
10 December 2013
by Chris Wiley



Amid the churn of New York’s largely market-driven landscape, where one can barely swing a dead cat without hitting another anodyne chuck of chicly distressed ‘50s and ‘60s redux art, Siegel’s cerebral show was a cool, clean kick in the head. The show focused almost exclusively on a single video work, which unspooled the lives of various pieces of furniture designed by Le Corbusier for his utopian city project in Chandigarh, India in something like reverse chronological order, from their tony confines in collectors’ homes (and on one mega yacht), through the auction houses that placed them there, the restorers who gussied them up for show, and, finally, the tumbledown city for which they were designed. From the pithy press material (and perhaps this description) the conceit sounds like a fairly dull one, which fits into the mold of countless hoary allegories of Modernist utopianism’s demise. However, the video itself proved unexpectedly poignant, using lush cinematography and careful pacing to embody the elegiac narrative, rather than simply illustrate it.

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