Empire (2005)

As we see the Statue of Liberty from the air, the voice of President George W. Bush speaks about a great people facing terror. Then there follows a montage of images of offices, homes, and back yards of the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s: the colors of avocado green and harvest gold dominate. People, all of them white, are well dressed and well scrubbed; houses and offices well kept.

Archives images compiled by Edouard Salier demonstrate the blissful consumers of the standard American family, which become deformed by their transparent backdrops. Each image is criss-crossed by optical effects that magnify or obscure, and that invite sharper observation. Empire is remarkable for its integration of form, technique and content, deploying digital technologies with glacial precision in its exploration of the pervasive, unsettling realities of our times. Empire is a graphic illustration of the American way of life, and its warlike tendencies.

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