Amie Siegel, who is back in Berlin to premiere a new work for the exhibition Wohnungsfrage at the HKW presents at Videoart at Midnight The Architects (2014), one of her very recent works, followed by The Sleepers (1999) an earlier work shot on 16 mm.
The Architects, 2014, 30:00 min
The Architects cuts transversally through the city of New York, producing a continuous image of the global architecture office today. Moving through several architecture studios—from Fifth Avenue to Downtown to Brooklyn—the film depicts the operational territories and landscapes of worldwide architectural production from New York. As a singular unfolding visual, the film deploys silent conversations among the architectures, locations, objects and characters that inhabit its frames, raising questions of scale, agency, and power.
Parallel tracking shots through the working offices chart their typologies of sameness and difference, revealing reappearing elements of the spaces of architectural production: long horizontal desks, screens, renderings, and models. The film frames a wide spectrum of practices, from large firms to smaller studios in a collective new whole. It positions itself from a vantage point that places the lens of the camera between the spaces of production and the world, which is always, and only, just outside the window.
The Architects was originally commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, as part of OfficeUS, the United States Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
The Sleepers, 1999, 16mm film, 45:00 min
The architecture of city windows at night, lives glimpsed at a distance—a man talks on the phone as his wife reads the paper, another watches TV, a woman stares out into the dark. Are these scenes set-up? Are the people actors? Do they know they are being watched? These narrative fragments elicit tensions between public and private, performance and reality, lyrical and vernacular. The images and soundtrack (police surveillance, cell phone conversations, dramatic “film-score” music, occasional synch dialogue) further blurring the boundaries between the real and the fictional, reformulating expectations of duration, privacy and narrative suspense.
Please note the exhibition at the HKW: