Amie Siegel: Backstory
Nov 30, 2018 – Feb 16, 2019

Amie Siegel, The Noon Complex, 2016

Thomas Dane Gallery is delighted to announce Amie Siegel’s exhibition Backstory, comprised of an intimately connected constellation of video and works on paper that inquire after the social fashioning of value and how cultural memory evolves – itself becoming a product, artifact or experience. The artist’s work often creates layered, atmospheric tableaux, querying the genesis of images and the latent relationships between cinematographic, acoustic and architectonic space. Originally commissioned for the second part of Siegel’s double solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in 2016, Backstory is the inaugural presentation of this body of work in London.

 

Amie Siegel, The Noon Complex, 2016

Amie Siegel, The Noon Complex, 2016

Siegel’s series of framed works on paper, Body Scripts (2015) consists of pages from the English translation of Alberto Moravia’s novel Il Disprezzo (A Ghost at Noon), the basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Le Mépris (Contempt) (1963). Selecting only the novel’s pages focused on the female protagonist, the artist further highlights these passages by painting over the surrounding sentences with ‘the average color’ of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The resultant geometry of the monochrome blocks recalls architectural floor plans, the pages forming ‘scripts’ for the gestures and movements in the exhibition’s related work, The Noon Complex (2016).

 

Amie Siegel, Genealogies, 2016

Amie Siegel, Genealogies, 2016

For the multi-channel video installation The Noon Complex (2016) Siegel reverses her approach, digitally removing the female protagonist played by Brigitte Bardot from key corresponding scenes in Godard’s film. As a result, the space portrayed in the film – the Villa Malaparte on the Italian island of Capri – is underscored, lending the sequences of tracking shots, directed at a now absent actress, an uncanny quality. Doubling this feeling, Siegel poses a surrogate actress as Bardot on an adjacent screen, in a neutral environment, emphasizing her physical, yet ghostly, presence. The traced movements of the actress are experienced twice, against the film’s two different soundtracks – French and Italian – the scenes thus oscillating from melancholy drama to burlesque.

 

Amie Siegel, Repose, 2018

Amie Siegel, Genealogies, 2016

Genealogies (2016) suggests the artist’s associative thinking by combining novels, films, images, advertising and soundtrack recordings from multiple sources into a baroque invocation of image and artwork provenance, remake and copy. Extending from the choreography of Brigitte Bardot, infamously sunning her backside on the Villa Malaparte’s roof terrace, Siegel’s video traces an acute iconography of economies of architecture and the female body, suggesting how these are visualized in cinema, and harnessed by advertising and media. From Wilhem Jensen’s novella Gradiva, to Freud, de Chirico, Rossellini, Curzio Malaparte, Moravia, Resnais, Robbe-Grillet, Godard, Pink Floyd and the Beastie Boys to images by brands Hugo Boss and Persol, Genealogies maps a broadly layered trajectory of ideas shared and reprised, speculating on homage, influence and originality and, ultimately, drawing together a genealogical lineage of adaptation, appropriation and recurrence stripped from hierarchical order.

 

Amie Siegel, Body Scripts, 2015

Amie Siegel, Body Scripts, 2015

Together the works in the exhibition bring into high relief the sculptural, soundtracked backstory of gendered cinematic forms. Noon is the time of day when objects lose their shadow, but also the cinematic notion of a final, decisive confrontation.

Amie Siegel: Backstory is presented in collaboration with Simon Preston Gallery, New York, as part of a series of exhibitions hosting galleries with shared overlaps and synergies, following kurimanzutto’s recent Signals: If you like I shall Grow.

 

Amie Siegel: Backstory
November 30, 2018 – February 16, 2019 / Thomas Dane Gallery
Visit the exhibition page >

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