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Lambert Crickxstraat 30
1070 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 8810959

After Empire

Herman Asselberghs

video, color, 16:9, English spoken, BE, 2010, 52’

A search for the alternative to an image of meaning, inspired by Antonio Negri’s and Michael Hardt’s ‘Empire’. The insights from this politico-philosophical study on the contemporary world serve as a starting point for a reflection on positive forms of collective resistance and emancipatory representations in times of war. An adaptation that doesn’t aim to be an illustration of Empire but that reworks it in the light of the 9/11 heritage. After Empire considers a possible alternative for the iconic image that our collective memory has kept as the quintessential moment of recent history: the hijacked plane hitting the second tower. The alternative: the 15th of February 2003. On that day 30 million citizens across the planet marched against the unilateral decision by the American government to start a pre-emptive war against Iraq under the auspices of “the war on terrorism”. 2/15 was the greatest peace demonstration since the Vietnam war and probably the biggest protest march ever to take place. The war did happen, but this world day of resistance could very well mark the beginning of the 21st century. 2/15 instead of 9/11: a key date in the writing of a history of global contestation in the struggle between two superpowers: the United States against public opinion worldwide. (Stoffel Debuysere)

A print version After Empire by Herman Asselberghs & Dieter Lesage followed in 2013.

A remix version Now (After Empire Remix)  followed in 2021.

Voice Claude Wampler
Text Herman Asselberghs & Dieter Lesage
Image & editing Fairuz
Soundscape composition & sound design Els Viaene
Voice recording, sound design & final sound mixing Boris Debackere
Color correction Sébastien Koeppel
Title design La Villa Hermosa
Produced by Auguste Orts
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Desire Productions, Contour Mechelen, Z33, LUCA School of Arts, Department of Audiovisual and Performing Arts Rits (Erasmus University College Brussels), Parsons The New School for Design

After Empire has been on display at the following locations:

Biennale 9 - place des sciences Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, (BE) Nov 16–Nov 19 2017 Center for the Visual Arts Jerusalem, (IL) Wednesday, Mar 26 2014 Akademie der bildenden Künste Wenen, (AT) Mar 7–May 18 2014 Museum M Leuven, (BE) Feb 14–May 12 2013 CPH:DOX Copenhagen, (DK) Nov 1–Nov 11 2012 Academia film Olomouc, (CZ) Apr 17–Apr 22 2012 Artefact Festival Leuven, (BE) Feb 14–Feb 23 2012 Bozar Brussel, (BE) Friday, Sep 23 2011 Buda Kortrijk, (BE) Thursday, Sep 15 2011 Videoex Festival Zürich, (CH) Sunday, May 29 2011 Courtisane Festival Gent, (BE) Apr 1–Apr 3 2011 IFFR Rotterdam, (NL) Jan 27–Jan 28 2011