Amie Siegel

 
 

Amie Siegel’s film and video work often mixes original footage and historical images to upend traditional genre conventions. Her three-part Black Moon project is loosely based on French director Louis Malle’s 1975 film of the same name, a surrealist drama set in the future during a civil war between men and women. In Siegel’s remake—“a present-day science fiction without dialogue”—a group of armed female revolutionaries defend themselves against an unknown enemy. The group moves through empty streets in the suburbs of the desert—scenes that were shot in foreclosed housing developments in California and Florida. Employing stylistic devices of film genres from science fiction to the western, Siegel translates key motifs from Malle’s film to reflect on the present-day ruins of a future that never was.

A second component of the project, Black Moon / Hole Punches, is a series of photographs derived from the hole punches, or black moons, that a laboratory cuts into the first frame of the film negative. Siegel printed the hole-punched frames, which are always omitted from a final edited film, from the digital transfer of her Black Moon dailies. Evocative of lunar phases, they are also relics of the film’s production process.

Black Moon / Mirrored Malle, the final element of the project, is a two-channel video piece juxtaposing a 1975 film interview with Malle about his Black Moon with a shot-for-shot recreation of the interview, starring Siegel in the place of Malle. The two screens tilt toward one another, as if in dialogue: Malle’s original interview is in French, while Siegel reads the transcript in English. The inversion of language, gender, and setting throws the cultural codes of the earlier moment into relief, and suggests a battle of authorship.

 

2010
Cibachrome print
13 1/2 x 24 in
Courtesy of the artist. © Amie Siegel
2010
film still
HD from Super-16mm film, 20 minutes, color/sound
Courtesy the artist. © Amie Siegel