Amie Siegel searches for ’Provenance’ in a new film tracing Le Corbusier’s furniture
Siegel’s new film, entitled ’Provenance’, charts the global exchange of furniture from the Indian city of Chandigarh. Devised in the 1950s, the city is most notably associated with Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, who were among a handful of architects commissioned to plan the new community. In addition to several controversial modernist structures, the duo also collaborated on original pieces of furniture designed specifically for the building’s interiors. Recently these objects - chairs, tables, and desks - have emerged on the international auction circuit, selling for record prices.
The film opens with a series of hazy shots of London’s streets, gradually venturing further into a private house, where the true subject of her lens is revealed. From there, similar montages across the world invite us into the homes of various collectors and as the film unfolds, the furniture’s sojourns are slowly revealed: from sale at auction, to catalogue photography, preview exhibitions, restoration and transit, before finally arriving at its origin in Chandigarh.
In a case of life imitating art, Siegel’s film will be auctioned on 18 October at Christie’s London. A second, shorter film documenting this sale will also become part of the project in a final stroke that binds the film to the art market it deconstructs. Watch an excerpt of the film, ahead of its premiere at Simon Preston Gallery in New York on 8 September, where it runs until 6 October…