A Puzzle for Alice, 2016

 

This work consists of 169 wall panels, a master photograph, and a movie with a narrative. The work was conceived as a gift for Siegel's wife Alice, who provided the narration in the movie.

 

Each of the 169 handmade panels, or “cells,” stands alone, as discreet art objects, but within the context of the large-scale composition. The piece is so outsized that it cannot be viewed all at once.

 

Each cell has been photographed individually, and digitally reconstructed to recreate the whole piece on a wall through Photoshop. This master photograph is the only way to see what the massive composition looks like in its entirety.

 

The 9-minute film that supplements the work was computer generated from the master photograph. It features the voice of Alice Linder, the film and animation of Stephen Blauweiss, and the photography of Douglas Baz. The film was created with the help of computer technology, allowing the viewer to experience a guided tour, zooming in, out, and around, to discover the complete piece.

 

Siegel explained that "This piece is a reflection of how we see the world nowadays—with continuity being broken by lots of bits and bytes.” The enormous grid-shape work is inspired by the artist’s conviction that one cannot perceive anything entirely. Viewing part of the wall composition, one is able to focus on the details. The whole image can be discovered only through the master photograph created from the arrangement of various single shots, and the entire work can be seized only through the film. With his film/collage work, Siegel experimented with an innovative art form. This novel way of experiencing a very large work of art allows for both a complete overview of the piece and an appreciation of all its details.

 

A Puzzle for Alice received the Award of Recognition: Experimental at Best Shorts Film Festival in 2017, as well as a 2017 award at

Art House Asia.