Amie Siegel’s exhibition Black Moon, currently on show at The Jones Center, holds its own amongst the very male presence of this year’s Texas Prize nominees.
Siegel’s Black Moon is made up of three components, all of which work together to dissect the processes of film and gender roles within it. The film itself is based off of Louis Malle’s 1975 film Black Moon. However, Siegel was very clear to state that it was a loose connection between the two and it isn’t necessarily important to have seen Malle’s version. For clarification’s sake, Malle’s Black Moon, set in the French countryside, hints at a mysterious civil war between men and women. A young girl escapes the realities of war through a fanciful dreamlike world, very similar to Alice in Wonderland.
Siegel’s film maintains a similar eerie feeling of a strange dreamlike reality. An army of women treks about an abandoned suburbia of disclosed housing turned war zone. While the viewer is unsure of who might be hunting them, there is the sense that they are being followed. No male characters appear in the film at any point. Along with the solely female cast, the production team of Siegel’s Black Moon was also an almost entirely female crew.
The second component of Siegel’s exhibition, Black Moon/Hole Punches, is a series of stills from the film. During the process of transferring film into video, black holes are punched through the filmstrip. When exposed and printed, these holes leave a gaping black void in the image. It is a violent assault on an already desolate scene.
On the floor sits two televisions, slightly angled towards one another almost in conversation. On one screen sits Louis Malle in an interview conducted shortly after his 1975 film. Regardless of whether you listen to the headset or not there is an evident masculinity in his body language. On the second television mirrors Amie Siegel, imitating the macho confidence exuding from the other screen. The televisions, playing at the same time, confuse gender roles and authorship.
The elements of Black Moon investigate an array of themes and tropes in film, along with the roles of women and author. It seems appropriate that Siegel’s work is shown at the same time as this year’s male dominated Texas Prize. It adds an alternative point of view and powerful female presence to the space.