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Directions: Empire³

Directions: Empire³

November 10, 2011 – March 25, 2012

Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
7th and Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

Location: Level 3

On May 1, 1931, at a dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C., President Herbert Hoover hit a button that symbolically turned on the lights of the Empire State Building in New York City. The nation’s capital again illuminates this iconic structure with the presentation of the following three time-based media responses to the landmark by Andy Warhol, Douglas Gordon, and Wolfgang Staehle.

  • On July 25, 1964, Warhol positioned himself on the 44th floor of the Time-Life Building to film the Empire State Building overnight, resulting in an inventive type of "still" movie, which he titled Empire.
  • In 1997, in Berlin, Gordon stealthily videotaped two hours of Warhol’s film at a public exhibition, later releasing it as Bootleg (Empire).
  • In 1999, Staehle brought new technology to the subject streaming Empire 24/7 via live webcast.