Amie Siegel: Quarry
January 12 - March 11, 2017
Amie Siegel's moving image work Quarry (2015) proceeds from the vast underground caverns of a Vermont marble quarry to the material’s high-end destination: the opulent sales galleries for Manhattan's newest residential skyscrapers.
Quarry first attends the marble’s excavation from colossal underground chambers and then turns to the material's deployment in the future homes of the wealthy in Manhattan. White marble, with its association to Renaissance sculpture, is shaped and constructed into the interior surfaces of these luxury apartments, which are designed to bring even the most mundane spaces closer to the materiality and value of art. As pendant to the two sections, the recurrent musical score emphasizes the sublimity of the vast underground quarry and mirrors the grandiosity of the developers' sleek simulations and speculative models.
Siegel's careful rendering of the forms and surfaces in these two spaces plays on how the mutual demands of the international real estate, luxury commodity and primary resource markets exert relative pressures both below and above ground. In pace with the industrial saws that cleave the white marble, Siegel's camera shears the phenomenology of global capital.
In tandem with the artist’s recent works-Fetish (2016), Double Negative (2015), The Architects (2014) and Provenance (2013)-Quarry performs an inquiry into how aesthetic logic becomes a metonym for complex sociological conditions, revealing how the regime of balance, flawless facades and restrained forms becomes a foil for the aggressively turbulent socioeconomic and political conditions that define and accelerate 'value’. As with these recent works, Siegel demurs from providing either expository or editorial comment. Instead, she choreographs a passage through phenomenological worlds whose connections are revealed through their suturing to one another.
Amie Siegel (b. 1974, Chicago) is known for her layered, meticulously constructed works that trace and perform the undercurrents of systems of value, cultural ownership and image-making, moving variously between film, video, photography, and performance. Recent solo exhibitions include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Villa Stuck, Munich; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; and the MAK, Vienna. Group exhibitions include the Witte de With, Rotterdam; Vancouver Art Gallery; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; CCA Wattis, San Francisco; MoMA/PS1, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Kunst-Werke, Berlin. Her films have screened at the Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. She has been a fellow of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm and the Guggenheim Foundation.