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Stephanie Barber

3 peonies


16mm transferred to video

Runtime: 3:13

Courtesy of the Artist

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3 Peonies is a brief, poetic 16mm film of a simple sculptural action. What becomes apparent is the humor possible in material interactions and the tender and sometimes melodramatic symbolism of cut flowers. The reverence for beauty ends up pointing towards the abstract expressionism and color field painting of high modernism that, in many cases, eschewed the banality of such ‘natural’ beauty. The collaged soundtrack subtly contemplates mental illness and is gently insistent behind the flatness of the utilitarian sounds of ripping tape.

3 Peonies has screened as part of Michelle Grabner’s Vicki with an i exhibition for Woodland Patterns, WI; Media City Film Festival & Lubov Gallery NYC, Chicago Underground Film Festival and many others. Distributed by Canyon Cinema.


Stephanie Barber is a writer and artist who has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media, often literary/visual hybrids that dissolve boundaries between narrative, essay and dialectic works. Her work considers the basic philosophical questions of human existence (its morbidity, profundity and banality) with play and humor. Her videos are distributed by Video Data Bank and her films can be found at Canyon Cinema and Her books Night Moves and these here separated... were published by Publishing Genius Press in 2013 and 2010 respectively. Her collection of very short stories All The People was published by Ink Press Productions in 2015. Her haiku collection Status Update Vol. 1 was published in the fall of 2019 by CTRL+P and her full length play Trial in the Woods will be published by Plays Inverse in Autumn 2020.