Amie Siegel: Panorama is an exhibition tracing the complex processes of how cultural materials—once living—enter a museum collection and begin their afterlife as objects of display. The exhibition is comprised of the New York-based artist’s new film, Panorama (2023), commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Art, alongside artifacts from the museum’s decorative arts collection. The artist’s film and her montage of collection objects are intimately connected, examining the relationship humans have with their respective habitats and their origin stories.
Amie Siegel’s work often focuses on making visible the behind-the-scenes, unconscious operations of complex systems, investigating how value is constructed as her protagonists—archeological artifacts, furniture, paintings, marble, labor—move from one context to another, one time period to another. The artist’s recent research brought to light a trove of dormant 16mm film reels in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s storage that document scientific expeditions dating from the 1930s to 1970s. In Panorama, Siegel uses these source films of specimen field collection and the creation of the museum’s dioramas, along with her own contemporary footage, to create an entirely new, autonomous work of art.
Amie Siegel (b. Chicago, IL, 1974) works variously with film, video, photography, sculpture, painting, and installation. The artist is known for her layered, meticulously constructed works that trace and perform the undercurrents of systems of value, cultural ownership, and image-making. Amie Siegel: Panorama builds on Carnegie Museum of Art’s existing relationship with the artist after the museum’s acquisition of her film Fetish (2016).
Amie Siegel: Panorama is organized by Liz Park, Richard Armstrong Curator of Contemporary Art with Cynthia Stucki, curatorial assistant for contemporary art and photography.