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Amie Siegel, Genealogies, 2016, HD video, color/sound, Courtesy Simon Preston Gallery, New York

Screening
Berlinische Galerie

23 AUG—2 OKT 2017

12x12. The IBB-Video space at Berlinische Galerie

Over the course of a year, the IBB-Video space will present twelve artists who have recently attracted attention with an innovative approach to the film or video medium. Documentary techniques will feature alongside strategies for challenging the medium and testing new formats for cinematic narrative. The format is designed to include both established names in contemporary video art and young artists whose works have rarely been shown in museums. 

This project has been facilitated by Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB).

 

Ranging from film, video, performance, photography and sound, Amie Siegel’s work often questions how things acquire specific value and how cultural memory evolves, itself becoming a product or experience. She is interested in both the constructions and transmissions of place and the iconography of architecture, her works often layer atmospheric, associative tableaux. The two video works screened at the Berlinische Galerie explore questions around the genesis of traditions, originals and copies, and the
narratives contained in artefacts.

Beginning with the anecdote in which the film producer of Le Mépris (Eng. Contempt, 1963) instructed its director Jean-Luc Godard to include more nude scenes of Brigitte Bardot to boost box-office revenues, Genealogies (2016) weaves a dense tissue of links and references around this classic of nouvelle vague cinema. At the core of Siegel’s reflections is the iconic Villa Malaparte on Capri, where many scenes in the film are set. The artist highlights the sculptural, gendered qualities of the architecture and the human body, querying how these are visualized in cinema, and harnessed by advertisement and music video culture. She also builds, slyly, on the conceit of the “film within a film” by identifying many of the interlaced, wide-ranging adaptations and references which have developed around the film and the place, reinforcing each other in complex ways—threading them together in an apparently potentially endless genealogy of authorship and influence.

Fetish (2016) shows how Sigmund Freud’s object collection in his London home (now a museum) is meticulously cleaned at night, once a year. Removing the dust from his personal collection of archaeological statues and artefacts seems to offer insight into the doctor’s interests, the objects acquiring a mythical charge when presented in close-up. As Siegel’s quiet camera glides over the objects to come to rest on the analyst’s now-famous couch, viewers cannot resist triggered associations to Freud’s psychoanalytitheories. Yet while the insights seem intimate, Fetish also exposes this allegedly authentic hermetic microcosm as a re-styled space suited to its purposes for consumption and spectatorship.

Amie Siegel was born in Chicago, Illinois (USA) in 1974, and studied at Bard College, New York, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions of her work include the South London Gallery, Villa Stuck in Munich, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She came to Berlin in 2003 as a guest artist of the DAAD’s Berliner Künstlerprogramm. Siegel currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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