Warhol’s ‘Empire’ screening kicks off Art Institute exhibition

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Film clip from Andy Warhol film “Empire”

Chicago skyscraper, meet New York City skyscraper.

“Empire,” an eight-hour-long Andy Warhol film of a single shot of the Empire State Building, will be projected in its entirety Friday night onto 12 stories of the Aon Center’s south side.

The film, shot between 8:06 p.m. and 2:42 a.m. July 25-26, 1964, will travel from three projectors at the Art Institute’s Modern Wing.

Warhol never intended his film to be watched in a single, silent sitting. Matthew S. Witkovsky, of the museum’s department of photography, said that at the movie premier, Warhol “turned it into a big party. He showed it in a movie theater with drinks and food, entertainment, you could go out and come back in. We would like to see that.”

Kara Spak

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