In the exhibition “Black Moon”, Amie Siegel continued her engagement with fiction and documentary cinematic devices. Presenting Black Moon, a 20-minute film, alongside a series of photographs, and a two-channel video installation of a re-enacted interview, Siegel uses prior works as scores or texts to be performed anew.
The centerpiece of the exhibition was a large-scale projection of the film Black Moon (2010) shot on 16mm and first show at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston. Set in the post-apocalyptic landscape of foreclosed and abandoned gated communities in Florida and California, Black Moon stages a revolutionary troop of armed women surviving an unspecified war.
The work is a partial remake of Louis Malle’s 1975 film of the same title. The original Vietnam-era film stages an ambiguous civil war in France as background to a woman’s delusions. Siegel’s Black Moon, through its deliberate pacing and juxtaposing scenes ponders the uncannily recent ruins of a future that never was.
The film is accompanied by a series of photographic c-prints, Black Moon / Hole Punches. Derived from the hole punches typically cut by the motion picture laboratory in the first frame of a film negative when transferred to video, in Siegel’s prints these cuts are evocative of lunar phases.
The third element of the exhibition, Black Moon / Mirrored Malle is a 2-channel video installation that places an original 1975 interview with Louis Malle beside a shot-for-shot version of Siegel herself performing Malle. This gendered shift of roles introduces a transposition of language and meaning. As Malle speaks of the “crisis” his film depicts, Siegel’s re-play echoes her film’s transposition of gendered roles.
The constellation and complication of meaning generated by the three works mirror the carefully composed montage structure of her film technique, seen in other works such as Empathy (2003) and DDR/DDR (2008), where different cinematic idioms and genres accumulate to create new assemblages of meaning.
Black Moon / Mirrored Malle, Black Moon / Hole Punch Number 3left: 2010, 2-channel video installation from 16mm film right: 2010, C-print, 13.5 x 24 in / 32.3 x 61 cm
Black Moon / Hole Punches Numbers 1 & 112010, C-prints, 13.5 x 24 in / 32.3 x 61 cm, Exhibition View