Amie Siegel – South London Gallery

I was over in London with work – checked out which galleries I could get to in the space of time I had, and was delighted to see I could get to Peckham to see Amie Siegel’s work. I really like her work – the clarity, the tones especially.

Apparently they are HD, but isn’t everything these days, and yet the richness of her work stops you in your tracks. It is hard on YouTube etc to getting the scale of the work, but a whole wall on a gallery gives a cinematic experience. Generally however, video in a gallery is usually lesser quality, but this is filmic. The scale of the works is only a mirror of the scale of what is shown – there are deep caverns of rock, which initially I didn’t understand, they just looked like patterns, but then you see what it is – rock, and see a person (I think it was someone working in the quarry) and the whole realisation of what you are seeing shifts.

We move from quarry to use, as we see kitchen counters, and shapes in the marble that are then linked to shapes in abstracted art works. And really tats what we see in these videos at times, moving abstractions, moving ‘real’ abstractions – shapes that really exist, objects that really exist, being chosen and highlighted by the camera. It goes back to that idea of the world moving in craziness and the photographer zoning everything else out and focusing on a single item.

The quality is filmic, but the structure less so – carefully structured, but decidedly structured – long tracking shots, are mixed with close up still images, and then slide show type pauses. The point-of-view is an interesting key in this – not knowing what is large and small, what is large scale and small scale – the quarries, the building which is actually an architects model, dolls houses that looked real to me – its real life alright but the scale and viewpoint is skewwhiff. Its a bit like those Thomas Demand images that you thought were empty offices but turned out to be models.

There is also a second work dealing with the cleaning of Sigmund Freud’s belongings in the museum, which is cunning called Fetish. You even see his psychiatrists couch. Plus another piece of work that has a piece of marble from Trump Towers – who doesn’t want to own that – she bought it on eBay apparently.

A really analytical and focused piece of work. As a practicing artist it really makes you consider the quality of work you must deliver. Then what it showed was a luxury throughout that is almost American Psycho – which made me worry about myself. The tones, and subtly within the shapes and colours like I said, made for wonderful abstraction – at times it was like watching Rothko or Motherwell, but in movement.


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