Descriptions Double Negative
Two 16mm films simultaneously project images of Le Corbusier’s iconic white Villa Savoye outside Paris, and its doppelgänger, a black copy located in Canberra, Australia. Each film has been printed on 16mm stock as a negative image, or polarity print, thus reversing light and dark. The Antipodean black Villa Savoye is, in fact, an ethnographic institute, dedicated now to the digital duplication of its extensive collections of anthropological films, photographs, slides and sound recordings, as Siegel reveals in a high definition colour video. The work enacts the infinite loop of recorded artefacts—the urgency to document and record “vanishing” rituals and cultural practices becomes instead the contemporary archival impulse to copy vanishing media formats to digital. These concatenated elements extend the artist’s engagement with architecture as a foil, enacting and revealing across constellation-like works, layered sociological and aesthetic concerns.