At Simon Preston, Amie Siegel Looks At How We Used to Look

THE DAILY PIC: A husband's found footage captures his wife as art.



THE DAILY PIC: This is one frame from some found footage that Amie Siegel is presenting at Simon Preston Gallery in New York, in an installation called The Modernists. (Click on my image to watch a clip from the film, and look below for some of the project’s still photos.) Siegel’s footage will be familiar to anyone whose memory reaches back to the age of Super 8: It shows an American couple processing through the required art-sights and museums of Europe. Or rather, if we feel we’re seeing a couple at leisure, all we’re really seeing – and it was often thus – is the wife, viewed through the camera-wearing eye of her husband. In the case of Siegel’s unnamed protagonists, as maybe in most cases, it becomes clear that the distinction between wife and tourist sight is not all that great. Both are subjects of, and subservient to, the husband’s loving eye and lens. If the modern art the husband shoots was often built around the idea of objet trouvé, why wouldn’t he view his woman as an esthetic object also worth finding? (Courtesy the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, New York)

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