R
Screening

Empire

Sun, Mar 13, 1994
4pm
(This event has already happened.)

This abbreviated version of Empire was produced and edited by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and has a running time of forty-six minutes. The original version—arranged by Harry Romney, co-directed by John Palmer and Andy Warhol—was shot by Jonas Mekas from the 44th floor of the Time-Life Building with a 16mm Auricon camera on June 25, 1964, and had a running time of eight hours. Along with other of Warhol’s early and now infamous films (Eat, Sleep, Haircut), Empire is an example of the inordinate levels of concentration and self-consciousness that Warhol applied to his cinema subjects.

If repetition was a fundamental trait of his paintings and silkscreens, extreme repetition was a fundamental trait of his films, a trait which both exaggerated and nullified the medium’s inherent concepts of repetition, motion, and light—what makes a moving picture “move.” And Empire is completely motionless, save for an occasional shift of ambient light. Warhol’s childlike fascination with film was best communicated in a 1967 interview with the L.A. Free Press, when he said: “But it’s so easy to make movies, you can just shoot and every picture comes out right.”

The film will also be shown at 5:20 pm and 6:30 pm during the opening reception.

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