PRINT October 2004


Rachel Harrison

EIGHT HOURS AND FIVE MINUTES IS A LONG TIME TO SPEND watching a movie. That’s how long Empire is. I made it through six hours once on my birthday. I knew Warhol didn’t really expect this of me, but I wanted to see what it was like, to treat his film like regular cinema and get lost in the movie. Looking can be meditation, internalized and Zen, and it can also be an escape that takes you away from the real world for a while. Since I had read about Warhol films before I actually saw them, I thought of them as actions, not as objects. The idea was paramount, not the product. But when I finally saw the films I realized I was wrong. They are all about looking, and about materiality. You have to experience them in real time with the sound of the projector, especially the ones with no sound. Duration is the text, the actor just a dust jacket, the hook to get you in there. In a Warhol film you

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