Chris Sauter: Empire
Chris Sauter’s eight-hour video Empire (2006) is an homage to Andy Warhol’s film of the same title, showing in the first gallery of Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune. Warhol’s Empire—eight hours and five minutes— is a silent, black-and-white 16mm film of the Empire State Building in New York, shot entirely on the night of July 25–26, 1964. The only perceptible changes in Warhol’s film are the flicking on and off of floodlights on the building’s exterior. Sauter’s Empire, initially shot on videotape, substitutes San Antonio’s Southtown iconic Pioneer Flour Mills grain elevator for the Empire State Building. Like Warhol’s film, Sauter’s Empire never deviates from its subject, and the only movements are the nearly imperceptible waving of an American flag and changing cloud formations.
Chris Sauter was raised in Boerne, Texas. He received a BA from the University of the Incarnate Word, and an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Sauter’s work is exhibited internationally and he has received awards and grants from the Dallas Museum of Art, Artpace, and the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. In 1999 he participated in the Artpace International Artist-in-Residency program. Sauter teaches at Alamo Colleges and the Southwest School of Art, and his work is represented by Cueto Project in New York.