In past years Stimac has photographed roadside memorials, bottles of urine resting in ditches, and active firing ranges, as if indexing the overlooked elements that mark the way for a culture whose identity is always in flux. He has catalogued uniquely American experiences with the photographic series Mowing the Lawn and the video Peeling Out. Always vigilant of our collective concerns and desires, Stimac continues to document the singular experiences of his own culture.
Empire, whose title undoubtedly refers to both Warhol’s nearly static film of the Empire State Building and America itself, was shot during last year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Aerially tracing the city’s grid, the high definition video documents our celebration of independence and fascination with war. Stimac presents the 11 minute long piece in silent black and white, making reference to the historical precedence of countless war room documents. As the camera moves along the streets of the city, explosions occur inside and outside the frame, illuminating the scene and reminding the viewer of a certain ubiquity to the proceedings.