Andy Warhol. Empire. 1964

Andy Warhol Empire 1964

  • Not on view

Empire consists of a single stationary shot of the Empire State Building filmed from 8:06 p.m. to 2:42 a.m., July 25–26, 1964. The eight-hour, five-minute film, which is typically shown in a theater, lacks a traditional narrative or characters. The passage from daylight to darkness becomes the film’s narrative, while the protagonist is the iconic building that was (and is again) the tallest in New York City. Warhol lengthened Empire's running time by projecting the film at a speed of sixteen frames per second, slower than its shooting speed of twenty-four frames per second, thus making the progression to darkness almost imperceptible. Non-events such as a blinking light at the top of a neighboring building mark the passage of time. According to Warhol, the point of this film—perhaps his most famous and influential cinematic work—is to "see time go by."

The work on view is a two hour, twenty-four minute excerpt. The film will be screened in its entirety in the Museum theaters during the run of this exhibition.

Gallery label from Out of Time: A Contemporary View, August 30, 2006–April 9, 2007
Medium
16mm film (black and white, silent)
Duration
8 hrs., 5 min. at 16 frames per second
Credit
Original film elements preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Object number
7531
Copyright
© 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Film