Lynne Siefert’s experimental nonfiction films give expression to a dystopian state of mind and address our urgent climate crisis in unsettling yet seductive ways. Her works transform familiar artistic genres, from 19th-century pictorial landscape paintings to modern travelogues, into dissonant filmic takes on our time. By recontextualizing the familiar, or revealing what is hidden in plain sight, she explores the boundary between the real and surreal, seeking to jolt viewers into awareness.
Experience two of Siefert’s most recent films on a loop in this installation. Ark is set on a cruise ship in the midst of a vast blue ocean. Combining scenes of decadence, artifice, and the occasional musings of passengers, the film highlights the surreal world of desire and consumption as a fantastic outgrowth of our current, late-capitalist moment. Meanwhile, the three-channel film Generations lays bare the tensions between industry, human activity, and the natural environment, with 13 tableaux showing people living, working, and playing in the shadow of gigantic coal power plants.
Lynne Siefert is the winner of the 2019 Betty Bowen Award. Established in 1977 to honor the legacy of Betty Bowen—an enthusiastic supporter of Northwest contemporary art—the annual award celebrates a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work.
The total run time for both films is one hour, beginning at the top of the hour.
Ark, 2016, single-channel digital video (color, sound with dialogue), 32 min., courtesy of the artist.
Generations, 2019–20, Super 16mm film to three-channel digital video (color, sound), 27 min., courtesy of the artist.