Amie Siegel searches for 'Provenance' in a new film tracing Le Corbusier's furniture

Living area with staircase
A still from artist Amie Siegel's new video work, 'Provenance', which is debuting at her first solo show at New York's Simon Preston Gallery this weekend
(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

Siegel's new film, entitled 'Provenance', charts the global exchange of furniture from the Indian city of Chandigarh (opens in new tab). Devised in the 1950s, the city is most notably associated with Le Corbusier (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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…

The film traces the global exchange of furniture salvaged from the Indian city of Chandigargh

The film traces the global exchange of furniture salvaged from the Indian city of Chandigargh

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

Armchair

Conceived in the 1950s, Chandigargh is most known for its association with Swiss architect Le Corbursier who, along with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, was commissioned to design several buildings for the city. In addition to this, the duo also collaborated on several pieces of one-off furniture

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

As the film unfolds, the furniture's sojourns across the world are slowly revealed: from sale at auction, to catalogue photography, preview exhibitions...

As the film unfolds, the furniture's sojourns across the world are slowly revealed: from sale at auction, to catalogue photography, preview exhibitions...

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

Armchair

....restoration and transit, before finally arriving at its origin in Chandigarh

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

Armchair

Although much of the furniture was discarded over the last few decades, pieces have begun emerging on the international auction circuit, selling for record prices

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

Armchair

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An excerpt from Siegel's 'Provenance' film

(Image credit: Amie Siegel)

ADDRESS

Simon Preston Gallery (opens in new tab)
301 Broome St
New York NY 10002

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