A multi-part film work, Amie Siegel’s Provenance traces the economic movements of cultural objects. Characteristic of the artist‘s layered approach, the work takes on the behaviors of the system it describes.
Provenance follows in reverse the global trade in furniture from Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret’s modernist city of Chandigarh, India. Their design included original pieces – tables, chairs, settees, and more – that now command record prices at auction houses worldwide. Beginning in the homes of European and American collectors, Provenance moves backwards to the furniture’s sale at auction, previews, and photography, to its restoration and shipping overseas from India. Without interviews, actors, or voice-over, the film’s contemplative tracking shots and recurrent tableaux – with the silent furniture as protagonists – enact a slow reveal. This accumulative montage exposes the strata of ownership that influence the objects’ fluctuating value.
Amie Siegel, born in 1974 in Chicago, lives and works in New York City and Cambridge, MA. Her work ranges from photographs, video, film installations, to feature films for the cinema. Her work has been shown in museums and film festivals around the world, among others at CCA Wattis, San Francisco, at MoMA/PS1, New York, at Hayward Gallery, London, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, at the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has been a fellow of the DAAD Berliner-Künstlerprogramm, Guggenheim Foundation, a recipient of the ICA Boston’s Foster Prize and a Sundance Institute Film Fund award for Provenance.