Paul Sietsema ( American, 1968 )

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General Description

Empire is an investigation of sculpture. It features an image of the prominent American art critic Clement Greenberg's New York apartment (reconstructed by the artist in miniature from a photograph). Each of the film's segments focuses on a different model that has also been painstakingly constructed by Paul Sietsema: Greenberg's New York apartment, a heavily ornamented rococo interior from the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, a translucent crystalline formation, a geometric matrix, a cavernous space modeled after a Louise Bourgeois work, an example of a sculpture by Jackson Pollock, and a still life of a grasshopper with its wings and legs mimicking the leaves and branches on which it rests.

Sietsema's play with exposure, multiple perspectives, and various filming methods examines the identification and experience of space on the screen. He extends the tradition of the Los Angeles sculpture of recent decades, which relies on the hyper-realistic presentation of reality.

Adapted from

Charles Wylie, Label text, Celebrating Sculpture: Modern and Contemporary Works from Dallas Collections, 2003.